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Following our discussion yesterday about the value of QR codes and acceptable levels of engagement, it seems that Condé Nast's Glamour magazine has found real success by placing SnapTags among its printed pages.

In fact, a trial within its 'social edition' from September produced 512,339 engagements among a circulation of 2m readers – just over 25%.

Spyderlynk’s 2D mobile barcode technology acts like a QR code, but instead of a black and white box, shows a circle with any kind of brand logo inside it.

ClickZ reports that Glamour's editorial and marketing departments teamed up to create content that encouraged the download of a 'Friends & Fans mobile app. 

A piece of editorial explained to readers that they could ‘like’ advertisers on Facebook via the SnapTag-enabled logos dotted around the magazine, highlighting that this would lead to exclusive discounts for their products.

Advertisers in turn collected 50,814 Facebook 'likes', a 4% response rate, which included fashion/beauty, retail, CPG, and tech brands. Among them were Gap, Lancome, Skinny Cow and HTC.

Glamour’s creative services director Jenny Bowman said that the magazine was getting so many questions about how [brands] could increase their likes on Facebook, and it wanted to do something "digital and cool". 

There were elements on Twitter and ways to win prizes as well. In the end, we were able to attract 25 advertisers into that issue that wanted to build likes on Facebook."

The magazine now plans to run print ads in March allowing readers to purchase items with a scan of their smartphone.

Here, Glamour uses the SnapTag codes to provide extra content that is relevant to an already-engaged group of users. This is a smart way to use the technology to direct people elsewhere.

People are now well up to speed on how to download an app, why it could provide them with free 'stuff' - and also how easy it is to remove if you don't use it.

By creating an app that has a reader within, this removes that barrier, as well as the need to fiddle about with opening a browser on your handset.

The entire process becomes much simpler, and less intimidating.

Perhaps this is the best way to capitalise on the QR trend, with something that's much clearer, more beautiful - and contains a brand logo - as opposed to using either a QR code or a SnapTag within outdoor ads that reach a much wider and more random net of people, with relatively few instructions.

As is often the case, the more targeted, the better.

Vikki Chowney

Published 10 January, 2012 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

249 more posts from this author

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Hannah Rainford

Hannah Rainford, Associate Director of Social Media at Jellyfish Online Marketing

Well done to the team at Glamour Magazine. It's lovely to see an article that demonstrates how QR codes can be effective.

The majority of people would not want to download a barcode scanner as a separate entity, possibly because they don't quite understand QR codes or by sheer laziness.

By combining a barcode scanner with the Glamour app, just as Tesco did with their shopping app, they have made QR codes more accessible to the masses. I hope that lots more brands follow suit.

almost 5 years ago

David Petherick

David Petherick, Head of Digital Marketing at First Vehicle Leasing

These are pretty astonishing engagement levels, but I think they're well earned as there's a trusted brand wrapped around the package, there's a simple and functional app, with its use AND benefits clearly explained, and of course a lot of added-value content designed to appeal to the audience.

I think the real key to high engagement with QR is knowing that there's going to be a safe and predictable experience when you scan. Hats off to Glamour for showing what kind of results to expect when you do things well, and use QR within a sensible and appealing context.

almost 5 years ago

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John Dodds

Are you suggesting that 512,339 individual readers each scanned one QR code in the magazine? Far more likely that a far smaller number of readers (including a large proportion of technical, advertising and marketing people) scanned a far greater number of codes.

Yes, the process was sensibly streamlined, but a special social edition is not the environment in which to properly evaluate effectiveness.

almost 5 years ago

Vikki Chowney

Vikki Chowney, Head of Social at TMW

John, there's no word from Glamour on person to scan ratio, but I'd be amazed if even a group of marketing bods could skew the figures as much as you suggest.

There's nothing about the special edition that's different apart from the inclusion of these codes, so in fact I think it's a fair measure of engagement.

almost 5 years ago

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Lewis Hamilton, Head of Ecommerce at Turnbull & Asser

This is a really encouraging article on effective use and placement of QR codes. I've often wondered how receptive audiences are to these codes as so many people would look at a QR code and not know what to do with them...but the explanation behind how to scan, what to do and what happens once you've scanned has clearly worked in Glamour's favour.

Great article, and thanks for sharing.

almost 5 years ago

Conrad Morris

Conrad Morris, Director at Match Me Now Limited

Very interesting case study. There seems to be growing evidence that QR codes work best in magazines, rather than outdoor. The ability to have editorial selling the benefits of using the QR codes must be part of this, as well as the relative ease of scanning a magazine page you're reading.

almost 5 years ago

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Jennifer Cox

It is good to see QR codes being used properly, doing what they are meant to do. And it is equally exciting to see an organization such as Conde Nast getting onboard educating their readers about QR codes and how to use them!

almost 5 years ago

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Jennifer Cox

It is good to see QR codes being used properly, doing what they are meant to do. And it is equally exciting to see an organization such as Conde Nast getting onboard educating their readers about QR codes and how to use them!

almost 5 years ago

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