QR codes have never been more useful in helping businesses and brands connect with their audiences, drive traffic to websites and channel it through sales funnels.
Even pre-pandemic, QR code usage was growing. During the pandemic, QR codes have become practical tools for data gathering and tracking, but also at the customer interface.
The hospitality industry has made widespread use of QR codes to re-shape how it manages customers while maintaining social distancing.
There’s no reason to doubt that QR codes will continue to enjoy widespread use, now they are such a familiar part of the digital landscape. But how can marketers make the most of them?
A Quick Response Marketing Tool
QR stands for quick response. The QR code enables users to access information with the simple click of a smartphone camera or app.
In a competitive landscape where attention spans are extremely short, making it easier for customers to act on your information is vital. Typically, this represents an eight-second window of opportunity.
This is connected with the massive rise in smartphone use, where people will routinely consult their phones, often looking up information mid-task.
Google has used the phrase micro-moments to describe these extremely concentrated areas of activity. During them, expectations run high. When people want something, they want it now.
QR codes streamline this data-gathering process, directing the user directly to the information source.
How Marketers Can Use QR Codes
Along with its speed, the QR code is highly versatile in the type of content it can contain and in the variety of its applications and locations.
You see QR codes on television screens, website pages, social media posts, advertising posters, direct mail advertising, newsprint and product packaging.
With this variety of choices, the key for marketers is to apply a sound strategy to maximise the effectiveness of QR codes.
In this, the same rules apply as in other marketing channels:
- Know your audience
- Define your campaign goals
- Set your budget
- Choose your channels
- Create a content strategy
- Launch your campaign
- Measure your activity and results
- Make adjustments for improvements.
Practical Uses of QR Codes
The uses of QR codes for marketers are wide-ranging.
- QR codes can direct users to websites and landing pages. They remove the hassle or confusion of sign-up and page navigation.
- They can send direct text messages to customers once they’ve scanned the code.
- You can use them to send email marketing letters and newsletters and, as part of this, for monitoring performance rates.
- QR codes provide a useful shortcut that enables customers to download apps simply and quickly.
- They can alert customers to physical business locations by giving out this information instantaneously.
- They direct users to relevant social media pages.
- QR codes are perfect vehicles for delivering discounts and promotional codes in e-commerce.
How Adaptable are QR Codes for Marketing?
Dynamic QR codes enable you to change or adapt your codes even after you’ve generated them.
This adds an extra layer of flexibility to QR codes for marketers. Also, dynamic codes are the only ones that enable you to capture vital statistics. They allow you to measure the success of your campaigns and activities.
This flexibility means you can change destination addresses for QR codes or alter how they function – changing target web addresses or stored documents, for example.
Dynamic QR codes have shortened URLs assigned to them, ensuring the code is relatively small and simple in its structure. This enables users to scan it more quickly.
You can also customise the design of dynamic QR codes to align more closely with the branding you’re using.
QR Code Marketing Takeaways
- Scanning QR codes is established consumer behaviour.
- People make critical buying decisions based on packaging. QR codes can add value and information to product packaging.
- QR codes bridge the gap between physical and digital, connecting customers to both.
- QR codes can deliver vivid augmented reality experiences to consumers, engaging them and building brand loyalty.
- They enable you to track performance metrics for both digital and traditional marketing activity.