Monthly Archives: August 2012

Getting Creative with Interactive, Designer QR Codes

Every day the Brickworks team comes up with new creative ways to give our clients the WOW factor. We strive to find innovative and interactive channels to help get our clients to the top of the leader board. Our Canadian Open golf balls were just one example of how we are leading the way in Quick Response (QR) code marketing.

QR codes are a great way to blend traditional media with online marketing, however simply adding a boring black and white square to a print ad just doesn’t scream “scan me!”

One of the best features of the QR code is that you can remove 30% of the image and the scan will still work! This creates a great opportunity to add logos inside the code, add different shapes or elements, and replace the parts of the code with the actual product! Although the QR code is fairly forgiving, there are parts of the design that cannot be manipulated, like the three-corner square.

Brainstorming creative ideas and designing a custom QR code is the best part of using a code. With so many opportunities there is no reason why your QR code has to be dull or uninviting. Try finding unique ways to tie your brand and product into the design. You can be as creative and original as you’d like! You can still play around with the size, shape and color of your QR code to personalize it or make it eye-catching and appealing to the consumer.

For their 2012 Fall Collection and mobile launch, Coppley Corporation approached Brickworks to create a print promotion that would bring an audience to their mobile version of the collection.

The Brickworks team came back with a designer QR that incorporated the Coppley Brand Logo and a variety of jacket buttons. The designer QR was printed on 20×20 inch P.O.P. boards, and placed in participating retail stores. Most importantly, it was an overwhelming success!

Go ahead, scan it!

Take a look at these successful uses of QR Codes.

A few did-you-know QR facts:

For most smartphones the relationship between the size of your QR Code and the distance from which you can scan is 1:10. “A 1 inch QR code printed in a magazine will have an effective scan distance of about 10 inches, and a QR code on a billboard 65 feet from the point at which a passer-by would be scanning it would probably need to be about 6 ½ feet across.”

Fact: 90% of QR codes in 2009 took users to a website or flash page that was not optimized for mobiles. What’s the point? The average user will patiently wait 10 seconds for a website to load from a desktop computer. From a mobile, users are only willing to wait 3 seconds, so ensure that your landing page has mobile capabilities.


For more information on interactive marketing, give us a call! You can find us on Facebook and Twitter too!

QR Code Marketing 101

The QR Code was invented in Japan in 1994 for the automotive industry to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. QR Code stands for ‘quick response code’ and is essentially a 2D matrix barcode that allows measurable physical interactions. It has been 18 years since it was first introduced but now that smartphones are becoming more prominent and easier to use, the last couple of years have been our opportunity to reinvent the purpose of the QR code.

Despite what skeptics say, QR Codes are changing the marketing world. There are people who question the value of the QR Code, and worry that by the time consumers finally grasp it, a new marketing channel will take over. We believe that marketing tools and services are constantly changing and it is important to take advantage of what works now, and continue to move with the times. Brickworks is doing more than that. Our goal is to stay two steps ahead of everyone else and offer our clients the best of opportunities.

Third party scanning apps such as XZingMS Tag and Scan make it easy to point and scan a QR code. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you don’t have to do it again.  Just as you’d take out your phone, open the camera and snap a picture – you do the same to scan a QR Code. The value of the QR code in marketing strategies is always questioned, however if someone is taking the time to scan and engage, then they are already interested in what you have to offer. Now you have an opportunity to turn that lead into a customer.

If the statistics below don’t convince you, perhaps we can! Check out our blog on Getting Creative with QR Codes too! For more information on interactive marketing, give us a call!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter for more marketing, advertising and social media tips & conversations!!



Don’t let your leads go anywhere else!

Whether you sell a product or provide a service, here are some ways to help simplify your prospects’ decision making process online.

“Decision simplicity is the number one driver of likelihood to buy, and the impact of simplifying purchase decisions for consumers is 4x stronger than the favored marketing strategy of engagement” (Forbes)

Research by Corporate Executive Board (CEB) has shown that a 20% increase in decision simplicity results in a:

86% increase in likelihood to purchase
96% increase in customer loyalty
115% increase in likelihood to recommend

 Here are some ways to pull in your leads!


** Be clear about what it is you’re offering to your target audience, and deliver. You need to give them a reason to engage. If your lead is unsure what the purpose of clicking on your website is, they won’t. People tend to ask “What’s in it for me?” This is the time to make a fair exchange with your potential customer. If they are going to give you their contact information, you have to give something back, for free. Follow through on anything you offer.

** Pick a campaign and focus all channels on it by merging marketing methods with the rest of your team.

** Calls to Action are a key to successful online advertising, especially when you aren’t provided with a lot of space. Limit distracting calls of action by only using one per advertisement or post and only one link. Effective calls to action use verbs to describe what it is you want your leads to do, should stand out and have a sense of urgency.

“Download Now!”
“Sign up Here!”
“Share our page & receive…”

Your Website:

** Introduce your product or service with great detail. A product or service listing will hopefully answer any questions that leads/prospects may have about your company and what you have to offer. For potential customers, it is essentially a checklist in their mind, and if your website doesn’t assist in scratching things off, they won’t bother contacting you. This is where you include any information that will help them make their decision easier.

** Never hide your pricing information. Many websites such as online management tools and software companies don’t display their pricing. This will eliminate the chance that a lead will even bother looking through what you have to offer. If the price isn’t right, they will leave. Pricing info is one of the top factors in decision making processes, and they may feel like you’re hiding something.

** Ensure leads can easily reach you. All contact information – phone, email and social media links -are relevant and important to have on your website. Each individual has their own preference for how to get in contact with companies, so provide multiple ways to connect.

** Testimonials and/or portfolios are great additions for any company to have on their website. People want to know if your past customers are happy or not. Visual examples help as well, especially if you’re a creative agency or sell a product.

** Understand which pages on your website and which social media channels of yours are drawing the most attention and run with it. A great way to do this is have a features section on your home page with links to the most popular pages. An example of this is how online shoe stores feature their most popular sellers when you first go online.

** Optimize your customer service online. Both positive feedback and criticism are opportunities to engage with your audience and demonstrate that you care. Research shows that sales and customer loyalty are highest when a response is received within 10-20 minutes and virtually disappears if they don’t.

64% are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that responded to them. And more than 80% of those who made complaints on Twitter and received a response from a company said they “loved” or “liked” it, with a 74% of them saying they were satisfied with the response. (Shoutlet)

The ultimate goal is to catch the attention of your prospects and give them every reason to contact you and not go elsewhere!


If you need assistance with the layout, design or content of your company website, our group of experts can help you. Contact us to set up a consultation, or find us on Facebook or Twitter for more advertising and marketing tips & tricks!

E-Marketing PT 2: Behind the scenes

Email marketing is more than just sending good content and quality photos to a list of people who may or may not be interested in your services or products. It takes time, research and resources to do it properly and get the results you’re looking for. It all starts with your list of contacts. Who are you emailing? Why are you emailing them? How did you get their email address?

It is important to ensure quality over quantity while building your database of email addresses. You want to have a list of relevant people who have already shown an interest or have an association to whatever it is you are offering. The best results are ones that are permission based, i.e. those who have subscribed to be on your mailing list. Attaining these e-mail addresses can take time and resources. If you are planning to build it on your own you will need to use additional channels such as contests, giveaways, sign up lists and online contact forms.

An alternative and much more efficient way to get a list is by using third party services. There are several companies out there who already have taken the time to do research in order to build interest related mailing databases. Some companies provide these lists for purchase, and others will provide you with an e-blast service, which is essentially like renting their list out.

*Be Aware of spam lists that consist of email addresses that are unauthorized to be in their hands. They do not update their list regularly, and therefore could consist of several inactive domains and users. You can usually spot these out because they are extremely inexpensive. These email addresses are a waste of money, irrelevant and risky for your brand.

Through analytics and by measuring click through rates, you will get to know your contact list better. From this you can cluster particular people who share similar interests and who are more inclined to open your emails and target your audience effectively.

*Tip: Remember to always update your own contact list to remove anyone who has requested to be unsubscribed, inactive email addresses, duplicates, emails that bounce back, fake names, and always edit misspelled domains.

It’s time to E-BLAST!!

Some companies do their own e-marketing. There are plenty of services and software available, such as MailChimp, iContact and Constant Contact that provide you with the support and tools necessary for proper and effective email marketing and sending bulk newsletters. Choose a service that has great reviews and have multiple high speed connections in order to offer any volume of e-blasting.

*Tip Use a CMS program that can help you to personalize emails with a first and last name, and will ensure that they can keep up with everyone’s names. Some services can personalize it even more. If you’re contacting Sally Doe who lives in California why not say “Hello Sally! I hear it’s going to be a gorgeous day today!”

If you are planning to send multiple emails, be sure to be conscience of the frequency you send them and use Email Service Providers that can help track who is opening your emails, and when – and use that as a guide to scheduling blasts. So how often should you send out your message? There isn’t any real answer as every product and service based company have different goals and incentives to offer. However if it isn’t often enough, you may get forgotten and if it’s too recurrent you may get redirected to the spam box. This is why you should test your e-blast before take-off!

You can create more than one variation of your email blasts by trying several subject lines and reorganizing your content differently.  You can then track which ones get the most opens and highest click through rates. The best way to do this is with the use of A/B Testing (aka Split Testing). For more information on A/B Testing, check out this Hubspot Blog Post. Start with a small list of contacts, and once you’ve perfected your design, you can push it out to everyone.

*Tip Add an unsubscribe button that is clear. If readers that are no longer interested in what you’re offering and click on unsubscribe, you at least have the opportunity to track these analytics and make adjustments to your contact list.

If you’re looking to generate more leads and sales through email marketing, contact us. We can help you create content and a distribution list and reach out to your potential customers!

Let us know about your email marketing experiences on Facebook or Twitter!

If you missed Wednesday’s blog “Stand out from all of the noise with your E-Marketing” be sure to check it out for tips and tricks on how to get creative and be unique with your email marketing!

E-Marketing PT 1: Stand out from all of the noise!

The ultimate goal of email marketing, or ‘e-marketing’ is to remind others that you exist, turn prospective customers into leads, and eventually leads into customers or clients. The other part of e-marketing is to remind your current customers that you are there to assist, inform and engage with them. These days e-marketing can be very challenging as our email boxes are more congested than ever, and it can be tricky to find ways to stand out from all of the noise.

Are you curious about implementing some e-marketing into your strategic plan? Read this first…

You want your message to be three things: Simple, Direct and Eye-Catching. We tend to connect visually and then make a decision in a matter of seconds whether we want to open an email and fully absorb it or not. This is why your subject line must be clear on what the objective of your email is. It has to be appealing to the reader in order to entice them to open your email. You can have a sense of urgency in your subject line, but don’t promise things you can’t follow through on.

Make it more about CONTENT and less about sales!

There was a day when email inboxes were for personal correspondence. Now that we are always subscribing and clicking on things without even realising it, we receive promotions, coupons, notices of sales, advertisements and more. All we really want is some entertainment. Not everyone is looking to be sold on something. It is crucial that you focus your e-marketing on giving quality and informative content that they can use, learn from and enjoy in order to avoid the trash can.

Pictures and colours make everything more enjoyable however be sure to keep it clutter-free by balancing your images and text appropriately. Lists and links make it easier for the reader to navigate through for the things that are important to them.

As it goes in marketing, it is business suicide not to have mobile versions of your websites and landing pages – the same goes for your e-newsletters. The number of people who check their emails on their smartphone is always increasing. According to Google in 2011, 82% of smartphone users check and send email with their device. And according to BlueHornet, 70% of consumers say they will delete emails immediately if they do not render well on their mobile device, while 18% said they’d unsubscribe. Lesson: It is necessary to have a mobile version of your emails and newsletters.

If you’re looking to generate more leads and sales through email marketing, contact us. We can help you create content and a distribution list and reach out to your potential customers!

Let us know about your email marketing experiences on Facebook or Twitter!