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Duane Reade ramps up mobile, social game with QR codes

New York drugstore Duane Reade is placing mobile bar codes on store windows to drive social media impressions and foot traffic.

Duane Reade is rolling out the ?Get social with Duane Reade? campaign as it prepares to make a major digital push in 2012. In addition to mobile bar codes, the company is also looking at mobile applications, location-based services and deals as part of its digital strategy.

?QR codes are great for busy New Yorkers that are always on the go and mesh perfectly with the high-concentration of smartphone and tablet usage in the New York Metro area,? said Calvin Peters, public relations and communication manager at Duane Reade, New York.

?The draw of the QR code is the multitude of creative ways they can be displayed along with the ability to connect a person who scans it to a vast array of information,? he said.

?Our goal is to place and keep Duane Reade at the top of innovation within the social media and mobile realm by introducing new and creative digital campaigns to further communicate with our tech-savvy customers in a meaningful way.?

Duane Reade claims to be the largest drugstore chain in New York with 250 locations. Duane Reade is owned by Walgreens.

Digital drugstore
The mobile bar codes are placed on the doors at Duane Reade locations and read, ?Get social with Duane Reade? with a mobile code on the right-hand side.

Icons for the company?s Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and YouTube accounts are also featured.

The QR codes are also promoted on Duane Reade's Web site.

When users scan the mobile bar code, they are directed to Duane Reade?s mobile weekly deals site ?

Consumers can then click to be taken to any of Duane Reade?s social media sites where they can connect with the brand.

The mobile site also shows the items of the week that are on sale in-stores.

Consumers can also find the nearest store using their device?s GPS or contact Duane Reade via the mobile site.

Mobile plans
Mr. Peters said that Duane Reade is in the middle of developing a mobile app that will let users refill and order prescriptions and access mobile coupons while on the go.

Additionally, next month Duane Reade will roll out initiatives on foursquare and Facebook for loyalty and check-in deals.

Duane Reade?s digital goals show how more drugstores are depending on mobile marketing to help make daily errands, such as filling a subscription, convenient.

For example, Walgreens recently let users set reminders to take their medications and transfer prescriptions via the company?s mobile apps (see story).

For a drugstore, combining social and media efforts entice users to go in-store. Additionally, by giving users a reward or deal for checking in, consumers will be more likely to stop by a store.

?Our mobile and social initiatives will play a top-to-bottom role within the company with a basis around media relations, corporate communications, marketing and promotions and vendor initiatives,? Mr. Peters said.

?Our social media approach is tactical while maintaining an enthusiastic agenda based around the company?s storied rebranding and repositioning initiatives,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York