Pitney Bowes Inc.’s pbSmart Codes was introduced in open beta to thousands of marketing executives attending the DMA2011 conference in Boston this week. The latest addition to the pbSmart suite of marketing communication solutions is a web-based software tool that can integrate QR codes to physical and digital marketing materials to create interactive marketing campaigns from a desktop. The end-to-end solution allows businesses to create marketing campaigns from QR code creation to dedicated mobi-sites that can appear on any mobile device and printed marketing materials, integrate with email and social media, and deliver real time customer analytics and reporting.
Once scanned by Pitney Bowes’s QR code reader, ScanShot, or other readers, the code directs a potential customer to a mobile web page with information about its business, including a website, coupon, video, product announcement, special promotion or customer service.
pbSmart Codes enables a business to develop an interactive marketing campaign using QR codes that bridges the physical medium to dynamic mobi-pages effortlessly. The platform allows unique QR codes to be added to printed materials, such as posters, flyers, yard signs or exported to other communication channels. Printed materials are then ordered through pbSmart Codes and shipped by Pitney Bowes. Built with dynamic needs and flexibility in mind, the mobi experience of the customer can be altered, adjusted or regularly changed, but the QR code design remains the same. Marketing collateral never has to be replaced when the promotional offer changes. The product features an instant feedback mechanism to capture emails for future campaigns, and provides analytics to know if their campaign is effective and to measure ROI.
"Pitney Bowes is thrilled to deliver this exciting, end-to-end QR code solution that enables businesses of all sizes to engage and interact with their customers in ways we never before thought possible," said Neil Rader, general manager, small and medium business, Pitney Bowes. Imagine a patient in a doctor’s waiting room, scanning a QR code and learning about a new medical procedure in a matter of seconds or a retail store that has a QR code with a message ‘Scan Here for the Deal of the Day’ to help drive sales in a new, fun way. Today it’s more challenging to get the attention of customers and engage them in the moment. pbSmart Codes now provides the channel to connect with customers virtually anywhere on their terms. We think it’s such a fabulous opportunity for small businesses, we’re offering a free version to get them started.”
Until recently QR codes have been used by Americans in the most basic ways. A survey conducted by Pitney Bowes in April of small and medium business owners found only 18 percent used QR codes often in their marketing. Among them, 45 percent used them on business cards, 45 percent used them in print ads, and 44 percent used them in direct mail. The main reason for resistance in using them was that they were too difficult to understand (37 percent). Despite the early resistance, a study by comScore, Inc. released in August, found that in June 2011 alone, 14 million mobile users in the U.S., representing 6.2 percent of the total mobile audience, scanned a QR code on their mobile device.
pbSmart Codes works easily with other customer communication solutions including Pitney Bowes’s pbSmart Connections, pbSmart Marketer, and the Connect+ Communication Series.