15 Minute Marketing Idea #2 QR Codes

What is this thing?

It’s a QR code…. and in 2013, you’ll start seeing a lot more of them.

Europe Blog Hide and Seek

A QR code is a special barcode that acts like an internet hyperlink. When scanned by a smart phone (such as an iPhone) it will display a webpage, business card, or message.

QR codes are an easy, cheap and fun way to promote your business.

Read on! By the end you’ll know how to create these codes and use them for nefarious guerilla marketing purposes.

That funny-looking box above represents a link to padiproseurope.wordpress.com. Scan it with a smartphone, and PADI Pros Europe Blog will appear on the screen.

The code isn’t doing much sitting on this webpage – but imagine if I printed out 300 of these codes on sticker paper and put them in every bathroom stall at DEMA? Besides a possible misdemeanor for me, it would be a sly marketing move: capturing the attention of smartphones users – anyone with an iPhone, Android phone, Palm Pre, etc.

According to ComScore – over 38 million Americans own smartphones already and 64% plan to purchase a smart phone in the near future.

Creating a QR code is extremely easy. Pasted below is a screengrab from qrstuff.com – one of many free QR code generators.

As you can see its three short steps.

Capture

#1 Decide where you want the user to be directed to: (website, telephone number, etc).

#2 Type in the web address (or phone number) into the box titled Content

#3 Download QR Code!

How to utilize QR Codes

Step 1: What is Your Goal?

  • Increase membership in your dive club?
  • Book more divers into an upcoming dive trip or charter?
  • Promote a new product?
  • Spread the word about your internship opportunity?

Step 2: What do you want people to see?
When the QR code is scanned, it will bring up a webpage link, virtual business card, phone number, or a few lines of text – your choice. Whatever you choose will display on the phone’s screen.

Let’s say your goal is to bring new people into your dive club.

The QR code should point at a webpage (or text) describing your next dive club meeting date, time, location and topics. Be sure to say why your dive club meeting will be the most exciting night of the year. Maybe you’re having an interesting guest speaker. Maybe there will be manufacturer-sponsored prizes. You’ve got a new customer’s attention; make it as exciting as possible.

Step 3: Go Nuts!
Create your QR code (see recommended websites below) and distribute!

  • If promoting your business or dive club: place the QR codes (responsibly) in and around places where divers hang out.  Is there a breakfast spot near a training site that attracts divers? Print out the codes and put them on index cards – under car windshield wipers, stashed in the menus, around the dive centre, or on your website etc.
  • To promote a new product such as a safety whistle or underwater camera in your store, post a QR code next to the product and link to a video of the product in action (on the manufacturer’s website, or something you’ve made).
  • Need to fill up an upcoming dive trip? Put a QR code on your trip flyers and have it point to a youtube video of the destination.
  • Print off a sheet of QR codes and use them as a calling card. Leave one with your restaurant bill or in the waiting room of the dentist’s office. Maybe write an intriguing message on the back,
    “Are you Curious?”
  • Some of the websites will print your QR code on a t-shirt. Walk around town, a convention centre, or your favourite outdoor concert and invite people you see using their smartphones to scan your shirt.* )

Also, take my word on this one:  people who own smartphones love to show off what they can do.

Are you QRious? Ready to Get Started?

Try out the QR code experience (see below)

PADI Scuba Earth

Using a smartphone with a QR barcode reader, scan the QR code below. If it doesn’t work for you right off the screen, try printing the image out on a piece of paper.

No barcode reader?

Ready to Make Your Own?

Useful websites:
Print out one or several QR codes at qrstuff.com.  You can print the codes on regular paper or make stickers on Avery labels). You can also create fabric QR patches to attach to a dive bag, jacket, etc.

15 minute QR code project

  1. Go to qrstuff.com
  2. Choose “text” as the data type
  3. Update the sample text below.
  4. Paste the text into the website’s text box.
  5. Print.
  6. Distribute.

To: The Curious One!

From: [your dive business name here]

Fate is telling you to become a scuba diver. Email us at [your email here] or call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Mention you found our QR code and you and a friend can try scuba for free in our pool. Already a diver? Come to our next dive club meeting. We’d love to meet you. Email us for details.

One last really important thing:
You’ve got the customer’s attention. Make the payoff compelling. Rather than simply linking to your homepage, consider a short message of simple text that references your website. For example:

Hi there, we like your style. We’re scuba divers, and like you, we’re curious. We like to explore and try new things. Here’s our website: xyzdivecenter.com – we hope you’ll stop by.

Alternately, you could have the QR code point to a special page on your website inviting the customer to leave their contact info to receive a special offer. Or, if you have a short promotional video already produced, you could link to the video’s URL. Be sure and watch your video on someone’s phone first to make sure it looks okay.

15 Minute Marketing Idea #1 Hide and Seek

Generally speaking, the more time a customer spends browsing your shop area, the more likely they are to buy something. Some companies challenge customers to find a hidden object in the shop. If the customer can find it, they receive a prize.

Larry

A diving centre located in East Anglia, England used the same technique. They hid a small soft toy (dolphin) in one of the displays. If a customer found it, they received a coupon for their next visit. It encouraged customers who ordinarily would drive past the shop to come in and browse. It also encourages frequent customers to visit areas of the store they had not visited recently. You can use this to direct people to stock you may need to clear.

scuba-diving-chihuahua-01

You could also do this online. Find an entertaining photo and post it to a specific part of your website. In your next email blast, invite customers to participate in your online scavenger hunt. This encourages your customers to spend time browsing your website (learning about upcoming classes, trips, etc). If students locate your funny photo, have them email you the web link in exchange for some kind of prize. This is also a great way to re-launch a web site.

Prizes can be coupons, store-branded clothing, free underwater camera rental, the winner’s photo on your website, air fills, whatever you want. Be clear about the rules and post a disclaimer such as “limit one prize per person.”

Stronger Shark Finning Ban Endorsed by European Parliament

Stronger Shark Finning Ban Endorsed by European Parliament
Stronger Shark Finning Ban Endorsed by European Parliament

Strasbourg, France. November 22, 2012.

Conservation groups are celebrating today’s European Parliament vote to close loopholes in the European Union ban on shark finning (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea), the culmination of six years of campaigning and debate.  Members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the European Commission’s proposal to impose the best practice for finning ban enforcement: a prohibition on removing shark fins at sea. The measure faced formidable opposition from representatives of Spain and Portugal, Europe’s leaders in catch of oceanic sharks.

“Parliament’s overwhelming support for strengthening the EU finning ban represents a significant victory for shark conservation in the EU and beyond,” said Ali Hood, Shark Trust Director of Conservation. “Because of the EU’s influence at international fisheries bodies, this action holds great promise for combating this wasteful practice on a global scale.”

The EU banned finning in 2003, but the associated regulation includes loopholes that allow shark fins to be removed on board and landed separately from shark bodies, which hampers enforcement.

“We owe so much of our success to the tens of thousands of divers across Europe and beyond who voiced their concern for sharks,” said Suzanne Pleydell, Director for Project AWARE Foundation in Europe. “By demonstrating the economic benefits of sound shark stewardship, divers brought new EU Member States to the debate to support a stronger finning policy that reflects the values of the entire European Union, not just its shark fishing powers.”

Parliament’s final report now goes to the EU Council of Ministers and Commission as part of the process to finalize the regulation. Conservation groups stressed that finning bans alone are insufficient to save sharks.

“Strong finning bans are fundamental to effective shark fisheries management and particularly important for shark fishing powers like the EU, but our work is far from done,” said Sonja Fordham, President of Shark Advocates International. “We urge swift finalization of the amended finning regulation, and remain committed to securing additional, complementary safeguards including science-based limits on shark catch and trade.”

The groups are turning their sights to the next big battleground for sharks: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) whose Parties meet in March to consider proposals to list commercially valuable, threatened shark species, including porbeagles, hammerheads, and oceanic whitetips.  Proponents for listing include the EU and U.S.

Media contact: Liz Morley (+1 843.693.5044) or Hannah Tarrant (hannah@sharktrust.org).

Notes for Editors:

Shark Advocates International is a project of The Ocean Foundation established to advance science-based policies for sharks and rays.

The Shark Trust is the UK charity for shark conservation, working to advance the worldwide conservation of sharks through science, education, influence and action.

Project AWARE Foundation is a growing movement of scuba divers protecting the ocean planet – one dive at a time.

Shark Advocates International, Shark Trust, and Project AWARE are working as part of a new coalition with Wildlife Conservation Society, Humane Society International, and the German Elasmobranch Society to secure CITES protections for sharks and rays.

OCEAN REVIVAL – a great diving site in the Algarve

A unique diving site is now being created in the Algarve: Ocean Revival.

This innovative project comprises the sinking of four Portuguese Navy ships that will transform a zone of sand and mud into a very enjoyable place to dive.

The ships will make an artificial reef structure, which will allow visits at different levels of difficulty. The underwater park will be located 3 nautical miles away from Portimao, in a calm water zone with temperatures ranging from 16 to 24°C.

OCEAN PATROL EX-NRP ZAMBEZE P1147

Ocean Revival is a pioneering project supported by PADI and meets all the requirements to become one of the must-see diving sites in the whole world.

The underwater park will have different levels of difficulty: from the simplest to the most technical type. You can be sure you will find innovation, safety and a lot of fun at any of them.

The bridge of the sunken ships will be at a depth of 15 meters and the keel from 30 to 35 meters. So, this will allow all kinds of diving, from beginners to the technical diving.

The first two ships – the Zambeze and the Oliveira Carmo –  were sunk on October 30th,. Now the organisation is to sink the remaining two vessels – the Frigate and the Hydrographic Corvette –  over the following twelve months.

We are sure that you will enjoy this diving. Everything has been thought-out and prepared for you to have a good time and spend some unforgettable days in the Algarve, Portugal.

Visit Ocean Revival website: www.oceanrevival.org

Want to book a trip to the Algarve?

Contact info@oceanrevival.org, info@subnata.pt, +351 935 577 000

PADI Sidemount Tec Xplorer Days

Dahab Divers & Team Blue Immersion Presents:

PADI Sidemount Tec Xplorer Days

The popularity of sidemount diving can be seen at long dive sites, coverage through most major diving magazines and the abundance of specialized equipment now designed specifically for sidemount.  The benefits far exceed those of just cave divers, with aspects of safety (extra gas supply and redundancy systems), logistics (travel and accessibility to dive sites), comfort and enjoyment!

Team Blue Immersion and Dahab Divers Technical are proud to be on the forefront of sidemount education teaching both the new PADI Recreational and Technical Sidemount courses.  Now is your chance to learn all the basics from equipment configuration to gas management, while preparing yourself for more advanced skills following some of leading sidemount divers around.   Team Blue Immersion is proud to work together with PADI on such a project and will be sponsored by Hollis Gear (www.hollisgear.com) and the DIR Tech Shop (www.dir-tec-shop.com)

Presentations will include

  • advanced equipment configurations
  • sidemount for photographers
  • sidemount for videographers
  • tips and tricks for instructors
  • deep technical sidemount diving

              ……..and many more

Join us for the entire week or choose from a list of courses available.  

DISCOUNTED prices in effect for Tec Explorer week ONLY:

PADI Sidemount Diver – 300 Euro

PADI Sidemount Instructor – 320 Euro

PADI Technical Sidemount – 400 Euro

PADI Technical Sidemount Instructor – 420 Euro

Packages available: 10% off, for those taking 2 course or more

This can also be combined with the many other courses available through Team Blue Immersion (PADI Tech Deep, PADI Trimix, Advanced Underwater Videographer, PADI Gas Blending, and a specialized  PADI Technical Rescue course for example).

….Or simply add days of fun diving to the many world renowned dive sites we have available here in Dahab: all perfect for sidemount diving!

Accommodation is available at the attached resort (www.dahabdivers.com) only few meters from the beach in central lighthouse.

For more details:

Jonas@blue-immersion.org

www.blue-immersion.org

http://sidemountdahab.com/

Important notification: First Changes to PADI eLearning®

eLearning PADI

Important notification: First Changes to PADI eLearning®

In order to meet our member’s needs and to streamline the process as much as possible, we have been working on the first series of modifications of the eLearning platform. There will be several changes that we would like to inform you about that may affect the way you do business.

The following changes will be effective as of tonight around 10.00 am PST / 19.00 CET / 18.00 UK.

Changes for PADI Members

  • Once the consumer has registered to eLearning, the PADI Dive Center/Resort chosen by the consumer will be receiving a self-billing invoice for their share within approximately 24 hours. There is no longer a need to send an invoice to PADI to receive your share.
  • The Member’s share will be credited to the respective Member account within 24 hours.
  • Members will receive a monthly eLearning statement, giving you an overview of how many eLearners you had last month and the total amount you got credited. To use this credited money, three possibilities offered:
    • Use the credit for purchases of PADI material, renewals, applications etc. (does not work with eShop orders)
    • Claim the money back via PayPal within seven days
    • Reimbursement via bank transfer (there will be a minimum amount for a bank transfer due to bank fees and charges may apply)
  • The invoice will include 20% VAT for PADI Members based in EU countries that do not have a registered VAT number with PADI
  • Members with home address outside of European Union and all Members with registered VAT number will not pay any VAT
  • PADI eLearning Gift Pass purchases are following the same rules
  • The PADI eLearning course prices for consumers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will remain the same as per their numerical figure however the currency will change from US$ to EUR, GBP, CHF and AU$. i.e The PADI Open Water Diver Course Online will now be EUR 102.00, GBP 84.00, CHF 126.00 and AU$ 130.00, rather than US$130.

You will find here all course prices in all three currencies.

Changes for consumers:

  • Instead of charging eLearning transactions in US$ only, PADI eLearning transactions will now be processed in EUR (Euro), GBP (British Pound), CHF
    (Swiss Franc), US$ (American Dollar) or AU$ (Australian Dollar) depending on the home country of the eLearning purchasers and consumers. You will find
    all course prices here.
  • Consumers with a registered home address within a member country of the European Union will be charged 20% VAT.

There will be no changes to the PADI Member revenue share percentage for PADI eLearning. PADI eLearning continues to grow
in importance for PADI Members and this is represented in the US$8.3 million that has been paid out to PADI Members so far.

The changes will make PADI eLearning even more attractive for consumers and be much easier to handle for PADI Members.

We will keep you updated with any further information in regards to these changes as they are implemented. You can also refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document for further clarification.

If you have any questions please email elearning@padi.com.

Rebreather Try Dives – Limited Places

Attend 1 of 3 exciting Rebreather try dives at various locations around the UK.

But hurry, spaces are limited, call now to join Poseiden at one of these events:

  1. Chepstow 20th – 21st Oct Book your place NOW call 01420 840300
  2. Capernwray 23rd – 24th Oct Book your place NOW call 01420 840300
  3. Stoney Cove 25th – 26th Oct Book your place NOW call 01420 840300

Poseidon MkVI rebreathers are registered as Type R rebreathers, suitable for PADI rebreather training courses. MkVI units will be available for try dives – to book call Poseidon on 01420 84300 with your name and contact details. To find out more about PADI TecRec programs, check out the tecrecblog

Removed 280 kg garbage in two hours

Serious cleaning of Nemo Classic Divings dive site

The dive site of Nemo Classic Diving has been well adapted for training dives, with lights above water and under water, a big platform at five meters for practicing skills and a surprisingly large number of fish and invertebrates. Unfortunately it was also filled with a lot of garbage, considering the proximity to Bergen city.

Instructors and dive masters at Nemo Classic Diving, together with the local dive club, decided that it was time for action, and they had to do it them selves. Thursday 30th August, instructor Marianne V. Hansen, together with 13 other divers lined up at the dive site – ready for some serious under water clean up. The under water clean up was arranged through Project Aware and Dive Against Debris, and within two hours a lot of garbage and debris was brought to the surface. Close to 40 beverage bottles, more than 100 metal fragments in different sizes and a huge tarpaulin was removed from the dive site. All 14 divers in the water did an excellent job bringing different debris to the surface, and the ”surface-crew” was kept very busy sorting and registering everything. The total result – 280 kg of garbage was removed from the marine environment, and Nemo Classic Diving has got a dive site with considerably less debris. Thanks to all divers and surface-crew for making this possible. The fish are smiling again  🙂

By: Christine Hopland, PADI MI. Nemo Classic Diving. Bergen, Norway.

Photo by: Björna Nygård.

The science of sharing on Facebook…

Facebook

… and yes there is a knack to it!

According to Dan Zarrella (a Social Media Scientist) weekends are the best for Facebook sharing. So do you have a pattern of when you put up posts and do you save your most important ones for the weekend?