Part 1 in our summer series: Qreate or Not Create?
Well, it's official--summer has arrived, and our temporary lack of air conditioning in the office certainly proves it. Although it's hotter than bullets in here, it sure hasn't slowed us down.
In the last month, MA&D has expanded with summer interns, new staff members, and a host of new and exciting projects. So it's time to kick things up a notch with the start of our summer blog series, "MAD for Design!" This summer, we'll bring you up-to-date about what we're talking about in the office, who we are, and what inspires us each day.
So, to get things started, let's talk about social media.
As MA&D's marketing director, I'm always thinking of innovative and engaging ways to reach out to our community. One of the most recent trends in marketing and technology is the use of QR (quick response) Codes. I'm sure you have seen them. They're often posted outside businesses, in magazines, or as a quirky ad campaign on billboards. If you haven't seen them, they look like tiny checkerboards, or terrible computer error messages.
Example of a QR code ad
So how do they work? Well, you download a QR Code app to your smartphone, aim your camera (as if taking a picture), and voila. The phone reads the code and brings up a variety of information--from websites, to newsletters, videos, you name it.
Metcalfe Architecture & Design simple QR Code design
As a former gallerist, I've integrated QR Codes into gallery space and exhibitions as another way for visitors to actively engage with artists in a personal, yet informal way. Visitors watched videos of artists at work in their studios; accessed artist's biographical information; and best of all--submitted questions and comments directly to the artists. The idea of the unfriendly, white box gallery went out the window as gallery attendance and audience engagement increased.
So it had me thinking--could QR Codes be effectively used in the architecture and design world? The idea was simple--to have information about a company or brand accessible and engaging. And since we're all highly creative, innovative thinkers, this shouldn't be too difficult for people in our field.
Now, QR Codes can be customized--outfitted with your logo, colors, and fancy designs. Obvious links to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Flickr are still efficient as users easily engage with more information about you! And who wouldn't want that? But, what about other options beyond the known use of QR Codes? Could they potentially be of use as a CRM (client relations management) tool?
Example of a customized MA&D QR Code
Let's look at a few examples:
- How about a specified QR Code that leads to a private landing page via your website for clients? They could be accessed at location sites and link to project management software, allowing clients to easily connect you with information, leave comments, and pay invoices (with a reciprocal "thank you" video.)
- QR Codes at a location site could also display a pop-up rendering of what the completed project will look like.
- They could show a map of your other projects in the neighborhood.
- Or, be used as a marketing tool--not just as a link to a website, but perhaps to a calendar of upcoming events or videos related to the firm.
The potentials are endless.
The question is, are they worth it? Has the success of QR Codes been documented? A few colleagues see QR Codes as a passing fad. However, I see it as an innovative source for connection with clients, potential customers, and most importantly, our community.