It’s Not Technology; It’s a Backstage Pass

I think it’s fascinating that Macy’s has a whole TV campaign about scanning QR codes.  You’ve seen QR codes, I’m sure, but may not have known what they were for.  You can use your smartphone to scan or photograph these, and get special information.

Sample QR Code

So, Macy’s is putting the full weight of a television advertising schedule behind this concept that their customers can scan these QR codes.  Some key stuff that we can all remember:

1)  What’s cool is not that this is a relatively new technology; what IS cool is that fans can cozy up to the brand in a meaningful way.

2)  For Macy’s customers without a smartphone, you can get a text version of the information sent to your phone.

3)  It’s very important to remember that most people are somewhat-to-totally clueless about technology.  Notice they spend time explaining how to use these QR codes.

This actually reminds me a little of the Clear Channel concert in Las Vegas as a means to re-introduce an upgraded iHeartRadio.  If Macy’s hadn’t used the fashion celebrities that they did in the commercial, it probably would not have had the draw that it does.

So what’s the important thing to remember, for all of us using social media to market our product?  The benefit to our fans of technology is not the technology itself.  Don’t get caught up in the coolness of the technology.

For our fans, the benefit of technology is an easier and a more meaningful personal connection.  Facebook didn’t get huge by being a pool of different technological apps.  Facebook got huge because all our friends were there, including some we hadn’t seen in years.

To attract a mass-appeal audience, it’s never technical.  It’s always personal.  So, your digital strategy shouldn’t just be about using new technology.  It should be about using technology your fans are using, and getting up close and personal with them.

Here’s the Macy’s TV spot, if you haven’t seen it:


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