QR Codes: The Future of Opt-In Marketing

Scanning QR Code Amy Goodman Art

Do you know what a QR code is? If not, you will soon. QR (short for quick-response) codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can be read by QR code readers and certain apps (like WiMo) on smartphones. The code is referred to as “2D” because the scanner reads both horizontally and vertically on the image to decode it. Each square-shaped pattern can be customized to send the person/device scanning it to a website, image, video, or a packet of data. When Matt Martin, Senior Manager-Mobile & Emerging Media at Sam’s Club, came to speak to our Marketing Strategies class at John Brown University, he described QR codes as “hyperlinks on paper.” Anyone can make a QR code: just go to a website like http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator, enter the appropriate information, and wah-lah! you have your own QR code that you can place in your store or on your products, put on your business card, or display anywhere else you want.

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The 3Gs of Missions

I recently returned from a four-day mission trip with the youth group at Harvard Avenue Baptist Church that I have been interning with the past few years. Here is a brief outline of what we did on the 3G Mission Trip:

  • Monday- worked out at the Arkansas Baptist Assembly Grounds outside of Siloam Springs painting, jackhammering, raking, and more to get the camp ready for the summer. 
  • Tuesday- drove to Oklahoma City where we packed 20-something pallets of food and school supplies at the Feed the Children Warehouse.
  • Wednesday- traveled to Tulsa to work at a Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and then play with and lead a chapel for the kids in the after-school program. After the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, we traveled to the Salvation Army Center of Hope, a homeless shelter in Tulsa, where we led another chapel service for about 30 of the residents.
  • Thursday- spent the day filling over 200 bags with leaves and doing general cleanup for senior citizens in Siloam Springs in association with Kind At Heart Ministries.

What’s great about this trip is that it’s cheap and easy to do and allows a lot of students to participate. It is always great to see the students work so hard and hear what all they got out of the trip.

On the Monday night of the trip, we did a worship service to set the tone for the trip. I gave a brief devotional thought on missions from Acts 8:26-40 entitled “The 3Gs of Missions.”

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Marketing Alchemy: Turning Lead into Platinum

Graduated cylinders and beaker filled with chemical compounds

Alchemy.

For many of us, this word brings to mind images of crazy madmen in the Middle Ages in dingy basements trying to turn base metals into gold. While this may not be too far from the truth, marketers can learn a lesson from the alchemists of old.

In marketing, there is a common rule that says 20% of a company’s customers contribute 80% of the company’s revenue. Marketers often refer to these individuals as “platinum customers.” Platinum customers have a high lifetime value for a company and are relatively cheap to retain. Not only do these customers contribute a significant sum of money to a company, but they also tend to serve as brand advocates. In other words, they are the type of customers that a company wants to attract and multiply. The most profitable 20% of customers can contribute anywhere between 150-300% of a company’s profits! Alas, not everyone can be platinum, despite what their mothers tell them. Marketers also categorize consumers into “gold,” “iron,” and “lead” groups. Customers in the least profitable 10-20% (primarily lead and some iron) can actually reduce profits somewhere between 50-200%! One of the primary jobs of marketers is to convert as many customers as possible into gold and platinum while “firing” the majority of lead customers. So, how can a marketer do this? Below are just a few ways:

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From Light Bulb to Lamp

 

I have an idea @ home

“Good ideas are common – what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about” –Ashleigh Brilliant (English author and cartoonist)

Many times when we think of a great idea, we think of a person with a lightbulb over his or her head (a quick search on Google Images for the word “idea” will confirm this connection). It struck me this afternoon while I was doing laundry that a light bulb is an appropriate symbol for an idea. Now, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that a light bulb that is not connected to a power source will not stay lit. A light bulb must be screwed into a lamp (or other electrical socket) to be useful for its owner. It will be useless until it is put into a socket that gives it energy and purpose. Once it is screwed in, the light bulb brings light into a once dark or dim place.

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