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Real estate videographer says QR codes are not just a passing fad



Aren’t QR codes just a fad?

In March we asked if QR codes could be a passing fad and opined that indeed, they are a novelty given the potential for augmented reality.

We noted that it is simpler and more effective to offer a shortened, memorable URL for visitors to type in rather than download a QR code reader (if they can understand how or why to do that) and open the app, scan a code, and blindly go to a website that could be a virus for all anyone knows, given there is no protective systems in place yet.

Not everyone agrees

Not everyone agrees, however. Real estate videographer Chip Gremillion of created the video above which is the final destination of one marketing campaign employing QR code technology.

We asked why he relies on QR codes for some campaigns rather than simply offer a shortened URL. “There is a place for both,” he said. “If you can create a short, catchy URL that works great to create brand on billboards or any visual from a distance. A catchy URL will certainly be successful in “creating action” from some mobile platforms from magazines, etc.”

Gremillion continued, “That said, QR codes create impulse response and that is growing. As QRC acceptance continues its growth, scan and view may well become a method of increasing print advertising efficacy. This will be particularly true if the print ad and the QRC launched video relate to each other.”

Bringing a new dimension to print

“QR codes represent the ability to present listings via video without the cost associated with television airtime. In most cases print budgets are already allocated, and as you know the introduction of QR codes is virtually cost free. The launch of a single video, or a link to an HTML page with thumbnail activated videos brings a new dimension to print,” Gremillion noted.

Gremillion has a background in video production and commercial shoots, so his take on what viewers want is interesting. “The key is, not to belabor the viewer with the agent. A buyer wants to see the listing and be able to choose to contact the agent. No one likes to buy a car because of the “salesperson”. The soft sell with a soft “call to action” worked on our nightly program for 24 years. It also launched our VOD cable channel with Time Warner Cable which garnered the first or second highest viewer count of all free “On Demand” services offered by Time Warner. At the time, it was not possible to track or respond to individual viewers. Obviously this is not an issue with the Internet.”

In short, his theory is that the ability to track and add an extra dimension to print advertising while lowering costs is certainly appealing to any marketing budget. Whether or not QR codes are a trend that will eventually go away, Gremillion is taking full advantage of them in real time.

Below is a commercial length video as another sample of a final destination for a QR code used in print (note: we believe professional production will yield a higher return than a layman’s point and shoot camera uploaded to a Mac video editor).

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  1. Drew Meyers - Virtual Results

    August 18, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Fad in the real estate vertical, but there are uses in other verticals that can/do work I think. I'm just not convinced qr codes solve any real problems in the real estate space.

  2. Jboy

    August 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Overall still new, but I think it could provide some legitimate results for the industry, cost effectiveness being one of them. It makes sense that videographer's would want qr codes to stick around as it provides more opportunity for them.

  3. John DiStefano

    August 20, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Until one can EASILY capture contact info using a QR code, I am afraid they are more of a fad. However, the perception of Agents who use QR codes is that they are "In-The-Know". which has some value to be sure.

    • Chip Gremilllion

      August 21, 2011 at 11:28 pm

      Apps over browsers is the future particularly in the growing mobile world. Any creative use of technology which creates, or enhances the perception of "In-The -Know" for an agent is definitely of value. however, the placement of informative and emotive advertising on demand to a prospective buyer can be invaluable.

  4. DKSEO

    October 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    I think I've used the QR feature once on my HTC just to see if it would pick up driving directions…

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.



Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.



Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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Business Marketing

Your business’ Yelp listing may be costing you more than you think

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The pay per click system Yelp uses sounds good in theory, but it may be hurting small businesses more than helping.



Man browsing Yelp for his business listing in open office environment.

We all know Yelp – we’ve probably all used Yelp’s comment section to decide whether or not that business is worth giving our money to. What you might not know is how they are extorting the small businesses they partner with.

For starters, it’s helpful to understand that Yelp generates revenue through a pay per click (PPC) search model. This means whenever a user clicks on your advertisement, you pay Yelp a small fee. You never pay Yelp a cent if no one clicks on your ad.

In theory, this sounds great – if someone is seeking out your product or service and clicks on your ad, chances are you’re going to see some of that return. This is what makes paying $15, $50, or even $100 a click worth it.

In practice, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When setting up your Yelp account, you are able to plug in keywords that correspond with your business. For example, owner of San Francisco-based Headshots Inc. Dan St. Louis – former Yelp advertiser turned anti-Yelp advocate – plugged in keywords for his business, such as “corporate photographer” and “professional headshots”. When someone in the Bay Area searches one of those terms, they are likely to see Headshots Inc.’s Yelp ad.

You are also able to plug in keyword searches in which your ad will not appear. That sounds great too – no need to pay for ad clicks that will ultimately not bring in revenue for your business. In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan plugged in terms such as “affordable baby photography” and “affordable studio photography”, as his studio is quite high-end and would very likely turn off a user who is using the word “affordable” in their search.

How Yelp really cheats its small business partners is that it finds loopholes in your keyword input to place your ad in as many non-relevant searches as possible. This ensures that your ad is clicked more and, as a result, you have to pay them more without reaping any of the monetary benefits for your business.

If you plugged in “cheap photography” to your list of searches in which your ad will not appear, Yelp might still feature your ad for the “cheap photos” search. As if a small business owner has the time to enter in every single possible keyword someone might search!

In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan ended up paying $10k in total ad spend to Yelp with very little return. Needless to say, he is pissed.

So what does this mean for you if you use Yelp for your business? If you don’t want to completely opt out of Yelp’s shenanigans, try these 3 tips from Dan:

  1. Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
  2. Do your best to block the irrelevant keywords. It’s impossible to get them all, but the more you do the more money you will ultimately save.
  3. Keep an eye on the conversation rate on your profile – does more clicks mean more client inquiries? Make sure Yelp isn’t sending low-quality traffic to your profile.

Ultimately, it’s about protecting your small business. Yelp is the latest in big tech to be outted for manipulating individuals and small businesses to up their margins – a truly despicable act, if you ask me. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for ad spend, then either boycott Yelp or try these tips – your company may depend on it.

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