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Wendy?s bets on QR codes to elevate mobile check-ins

Fast food chain Wendy?s is joining the pack of quick-service restaurants using QR codes to bolster engagement with a location-based campaign that rewards users for checking in.

Wendy?s has placed the QR codes on takeout bags as part of a promotion to push a late-night menu. Wendy?s has slowly been strengthening its mobile efforts over the past few months.

?[Mobile bar codes are] an opportunity to offer the customer relevant experience and value after the sale," said Murat Divringi, CEO of Dynotag, Seattle.

?As expected, skyrocketing usage statistics in the United States suggest that consumers are becoming more aware of QR codes and do scan them when they expect a rewarding experience in the context,? he said. ?Most users expect a coupon or relevant information.?

Mr. Divringi is not associated with Wendy?s. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Wendy?s did not meet press deadline.

Fast scans
Copy above the QR code encourages users to scan to win prizes by checking in to the nearest Wendy?s location.

When users scan the mobile bar code, they are directed to a mobile site from Wendy?s that asks if it is OK to use the device?s location.

Consumers can then find nearby locations and check-in to a restaurant. In order to check-in, the user must be within a geo-targeted area around the restaurant.

From there, consumers are immediately notified if they have won a prize.

Mobile opportunity
Wendy?s has been ramping up its mobile efforts recently.

In July, the brand introduced an app that lets users find nearby locations and access nutritional information (see story).

Additionally, Wendy?s ran a campaign with Pandora this summer that used banner, expandable and audio ads to drive in-store traffic and build brand awareness (see story).

Placing mobile bar codes directly on product is a recipe that many fast food chains have jumped on.

Taco Bell, KFC and McDonald?s have all used on-pack QR codes to bolster brand awareness in the past few months.

By placing the mobile bar codes on takeout bags, Wendy?s is able to target a group of consumers who have already bought products and therefore might be more inclined to scan the code and interact with the brand.

Additionally, the check-in portion of the campaign is tied to a sweepstakes that only mobile users can participate in, which gives consumers an incentive to scan a QR code.

?Currently, too many QR codes just lead to the corporate Web site and do not present any value to the user,? Mr. Divringi said.

?When the experience involves presenting the user with useful information and value from their perspective, a positive experience will foster a desire to scan more codes and hopefully encounter similar useful experiences,? he said. ?As marketers realize this potential, it will improve the customer experience as well as campaign efficiency for the organization publishing the codes.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York