BBQGuys, America’s premier retailer of grilling and outdoor living equipment, favors programmatic advertising because of the ability to automate traditional campaigns. But running programmatic paper advertisements comes with its own set of measurement challenges—QR Codes seemed like the ideal physical-to-digital portal that could enable effective performance measurement. Furthermore, the company wanted a QR Code solution with robust analytics to monitor the success of its dynamic QR Code touchpoints. Learn how Beaconstac filled BBQGuys’ analytics gap, ultimately leading to a 1925% engagement boost for them.
BBQGuys is a major American grilling & outdoor living equipment retailer
1925% engagement boost and 16% increase in MoM AOV
BBQGuys have always maintained an omnichannel approach toward their marketing, integrating campaigns across multiple engagement channels to ultimately increase the likelihood of conversion.
According to Kinsey Akins, BBQGuy’s programmatic channel manager, QR Code-enhanced direct mail campaigns are a part of the Louisiana megaretailer’s cross-channel strategy:
“We place all the QR Codes we generate on both our regular and programmatic direct mail pieces. Our programmatic direct mails are automatically sent out anytime someone visits our landing pages. Each automated mail piece would go to the people who’ve shown interest by spending time on our website.”
The QR Codes that go on each direct mail piece would serve as an audience touchpoint, initiating a frictionless physical-to-digital channel jump. Each QR Code would also double as a real-time engagement tracking tool for measuring campaign performance.
“We create different QR Codes for every version of a direct mail piece. We organize these QR Codes by campaign, platform, and sales event so we can tie all the metrics they bring in to generate an accurate performance report.”
The utility of a robust QR Code analytics system grew more apparent as the company’s traditional campaigns became more automated:
“Right now, we are focusing on evergreen campaign launches. Evergreen means the campaigns remain automated and round-the-clock. Since our direct mail campaigns will be evergreen and we’re implementing QR Codes for each mail piece, we needed more robust analytics to accommodate the constantly running promos.”
Prior to working with Beaconstac, BBQGuys were already utilizing dynamic QR Code tracking. But according to Kinsey, the analytics that came with the QR Code solution they used fell short in one essential facet: data organization.
The platform’s analytics could not efficiently filter data into separate insights. This meant the team had to resort to manual data structuring, which proved cumbersome and provided little room for streamlined workflows.
“The problem everyone was having was that they were using a QR Code platform with a less-than-ideal analytics setup. It lacked the pinpoint campaign tracking and organization we needed. It didn’t allow us to organize campaigns efficiently, and the platform wasn’t as easy to use.”
Programmatic direct mail marketing is unlike its regular counterpart in that the campaigns that Kinsey and her team ran were continuous and fully automated. Each direct mail piece gets triggered by a website visit, with the visitor being the recipient.
BBQGuys had already switched to Beaconstac before Kinsey joined the company. But the programmatic channel manager made clear the reason why the company made the shift:
“Beaconstac is a professional and well-put-together platform where you can have strong analytics. That’s big for us. Robust analytics and ease of use were our biggest deciding factors when we chose Beaconstac over other QR Code platforms.”
For Kinsey, detailed QR Code analytics is paramount for getting the most out of their automated direct mail efforts:
“QR Code analytics is essential. It’s what’s going to help us stay on top of any bugs in our system. Customers tend not to reach out and say anything if they face an issue. But once you get robust analytics going, it will provide you with insights to figure out those issues.”
But bare analytics was seldom the end-all-be-all for efficient campaign monitoring. Eventually, BBQGuys wanted a solution that would eliminate the time-consuming manual data grouping it does every time it needs to visualize individual campaign performance.
For the company’s programmatic marketing team, this meant switching to a platform with a more systematic analytics dashboard that could sort data instantly, revealing only the most relevant metrics.
According to Kinsey, Beaconstac’s analytics provided what the team needed for smooth campaign data organization.
“The analytics on Beaconstac has been super easy to use and organize. Because of the campaign label function, it became effortless for us to go in and look for specific campaigns. Once the campaigns are sorted, we can begin seeing all the metrics tied into them. That was super handy and made things a lot faster for us.”
Beaconstac’s analytics solution offered BBQGuys the ability to categorize each campaign, introducing a more streamlined metrics tracking and gathering. The team would simply attribute a campaign label with a button click to any automated promo so it could be filtered for in-depth monitoring.
It also provided a more accurate assessment of each campaign's current performance, which became beneficial when identifying areas for improvement.
Apart from pinpoint campaign tracking, Kinsey and her marketing team derived many other benefits from using the platform.
One, in particular, that Kinsey found practical was Beaconstac’s QR Code editing. Each QR Code placed on a direct mail piece provided unlimited URL alterations, which meant the team never had to worry about sending new direct mail pieces every time they changed their QR Code’s link destination.
But QR Code editability didn’t come in handy just for unexpected marketing shifts. It also allowed the team to keep capturing audience engagement data from previous direct mail promos:
“We always use the same landing pages even if we’ve changed our promos. The only thing that changes are the UTM parameters. We would edit the QR Code URLs with the new UTMs, so even if someone scans a QR Code long after a promo ends, they can still go to the landing page with our current promo. That’s good because we still get data that suggests that ‘Hey, people found this mailer from 2021, and they’re now just scanning it’.”
Another thing that stood out for Kinsey was how easy it was to reproduce each dynamic QR Code. To generate new QR Codes for their latest direct mailers, all Kinsey had to do was duplicate an existing QR Code with a click, then fit it with the appropriate campaign name and URL.
“I really loved being able to duplicate the QR Codes easily. I always generate new QR Codes for our next set of direct mailers. Sometimes, I’ll need a dozen unique QR Codes, and all I have to do is duplicate each type of QR Code I need. I simply rename the QR Code and edit its URL with a different UTM parameter. It’s just so much easier for me.”
As a scalable, full-featured solution, Kinsey initially expected Beaconstac to have a complex user interface. But the platform’s usability and intuitive design proved otherwise:
“I expected Beaconstac to be a lot more complicated to use. But it’s straightforward to set up. You have a wide range of templates to choose from, and I like that you can change the look of many aspects of the QR Codes and the encoded content if you want to. I also found the URL edits to be extremely helpful. You can change different UTMs and everything else in the link. That makes it really easy as well. The ease of using the platform is exceptional.”
And if anyone from Kinsey’s team needed to connect directly with someone from Beaconstac, getting in touch was never an issue:
“Beaconstac’s help section has also been great. It’s also been super easy to get in touch with anyone from Beaconstac. I really appreciate that.”
Soon after BBQGuys added Beaconstac into its arsenal of marketing tools, the platform swiftly became indispensable for the company’s regular and automated paper-based campaigns. Beaconstac’s comprehensive yet intuitive QR Code platform gave the marketing team the leverage and insights needed to surpass engagement targets by huge margins.
“In Q2, we had a target of 88 scans for a campaign. But instead of the 88, we actually got 1,782 total interactions. That’s a 1925% win, which was outstanding! Beaconstac has been great to have, and it’s been great to see it work for us.”
These significant interaction boosts positively impacted the megaretailer’s crucial top-line KPIs. And it compelled the marketing team to raise the bar for their engagement benchmarks:
“Right now, we’re trending ahead of our target of 500 scans for September 2022. If we keep going, we’ll be way ahead of our target. In fact, we’ve begun increasing our targets because of how we’ve seen these scans perform. That’s driving our revenue. Our average order value this month is already up to 2361, exceeding our initial target of 2000. That’s a 16% lift from our target to our actual.”
MoM AOV increase
“Beaconstac is a trustworthy and reliable QR Code platform where you can leverage strong analytics. As a platform with additional analytic features, I expected it to be complicated initially, but it turned out to be super easy to use. It helped us significantly raise our engagement targets and drive revenue.”
Programmatic Channel Manager, BBQ Guys