For a time, using QR (or “quick response”) codes was the “it” thing in marketing. Including these 2-dimensional barcodes on product packaging, posters, promotions, and the like expanded a company’s ability to reach its market quickly and virtually effortlessly.
But there were problems. They weren’t always easy to use. They could only be used on smartphones and required an app. Slow internet speeds hampered execution.
Worst of all, both users and marketers didn’t seem to fully understand their purpose.
Fast-forward to today, and you might be tempted to think that QR codes are travelling the same route as peel-and-stick labels.
But that’s not the case.
Spurred on by built-in QR code scanners on most smartphones and, unfortunately, by the contact-less ways of the COVID-riddled world, QR codes are once again an attractive, affordable, and trackable way to reach customers and promote campaigns.
To be used effectively, however, companies should keep these tips in mind:
· Explain the benefits. Let customers know exactly what using the QR code will get them and what they can expect to see/get by scanning them. There has to be a clearly defined benefit to engage users.
· Make it do something. Your code has to lead to more than just a generic website. Take users to a special message or offer. Send them to a specific landing page. Direct them to a site where they can leave a review. Reward them for their efforts.
· Link your marketing. Marketing account expert Iris Hearn says, “For companies that do a lot of offline marketing, QR codes can be a huge advantage because they offer a way to bridge your online and offline advertising efforts. It provides more in-depth analytics and an overall more cohesive campaign.”
Go ahead. Get creative. Plaster carefully-designed and strategically planned QR codes across your marketing collateral. Add it to your business cards. Make things happen.