How efficient is marketing with QR codes: There have been QR (quick response) codes for about 30 years. They were initially created in 1994 by a Japanese engineer to track components in auto manufacturing, but they have now transformed into a powerful marketing tool.
Even though QR codes have been available for a while, their use increased during the Covid-19 epidemic. In a period when we were all so hesitant to go close to one another, restaurants employed them as a quick way to create contactless menus.
However, the buzz is still alive since QR codes are still rising in popularity. While it appeared that they were on the decline before the pandemic, 83.4 million American smartphone users scanned a QR code in 2022. It has been estimated that by 2025, 99.5 million Americans will utilize QR codes.
Why Should You Market with QR Codes?
It may be clear what advantages QR codes offer: They are a simple approach to omit some of the consumer journey’s steps and direct potential consumers to the precise internet location you want them to be.
This may be a website; a landing page for freebies and promotions, or even a page where you provide a free download that will boost interaction and attract repeat customers. Additionally, you may use QR codes to promote instructional videos, how-to articles, and even material that is only available during specific events.
With the use of QR codes, you may quickly assess the success of a campaign or a specific advertisement, like a magazine ad. Additionally, they may assist you in gathering first-party data, which is crucial as marketing behemoths like Google shift away from third-party data.
When checking out at Whole Foods, you can scan your QR code to receive a 10% discount if you’re an Amazon Prime member. This is a fantastic illustration of how QR codes are used.
Even nature reserves provide QR codes so that visitors may learn more about the area, all while using less paper.
Clearly Stating Calls to Action for Tangible Items
Many QR codes now appear as though they were an afterthought to products like brochures or consumer packaged goods. Additionally, they frequently don’t make it apparent where consumers will be led after scanning it.
Square codes are unpleasant to look at, according to Wan. According to the study having designers embed these square pixels onto marketing materials in ways that are truly eye-catching and attractive enables consumers to realize that you should be scanning it.
Consider the Disney character-themed QR codes used at Japanese subway stations or the “SALE”-branded QR code that Zara posted in a store window to let customers know exactly what they would receive by scanning it.
One of the first ways QR codes may develop to be more user-friendly in Wan’s opinion is by going beyond a basic black-and-white box with a “Learn More” CTA.
An Overview of the QR Code’s History
Denso-Wave, a manufacturer of automobiles, developed QR codes in 1994 with the intention of swiftly and effectively tracking components and vehicles throughout the facility.
The code was created to make information decode at a rapid rate, or as Denso-Wave cryptically put it, “Code read readily for the reader.”
Fun fact: In 2011 was the first year we ever wrote a blog about QR codes. Season 1 of Game of Thrones debuted that year.
Spread of the Pandemic, the Rise of the QR Code
With the spread of the pandemic, a quick, non-contact method of informing people became necessary.
In the past, reading QR codes on phones required a specific program. Updates to more recent devices made it possible for any smartphone camera to read this information, making it simple to access QR codes.
Utilization and awareness grew rapidly. There were 94% more QR code engagements from the end of 2018 to the end of 2020.
Why Should Businesses Market Use QR Codes?
Trackable interactions with print items, billboards, and even advertisements or streaming ads—yes, like that Super Bowl ad—can all be monitored using QR codes. This is significant since the audience engagement for these channels was previously exclusively dependent on the potential audience size.
Versatile: QR Codes may be applied in various marketing and commercial settings. Whether it’s an instructional page, app download, menu, product or purchase page, discount, or promotion; they may connect to virtually any digital destination. This is a great platform for experimentation and creativity.
Better User Flow: By using a QR code in one marketing channel, you may use another channel to lure viewers further into your narrative. You may direct them to the funnel stage or point in the “buyer’s journey” where they will benefit the most. This is a fundamental idea in inbound marketing.
It doesn’t get much easier than opening your phone camera and pointing it anywhere when it comes to being easy for (almost) everyone. For certain less tech-savvy audiences, there has undoubtedly been a learning curve, but for the most, utilizing QR codes is now regarded as a simple method to ‘get more info,’ which is to say, read a menu. Online encounters have benefited greatly from the removal of the need to enter a URL or remember a backslash.
Use of QR Codes in 2022 and Later
The challenge for marketers is to determine how to use this technology to effectively reach their consumers now that it is more widely available and acceptable than ever.
Should you use QR codes sparingly and only when essential, or should you put them on every item of print media?
Using QR Codes in Marketing Materials
Here are some starting points, areas where you’ve undoubtedly already seen them, and some original suggestions to boost audience engagement from content that was previously restricted to non-digital interactions.
Where QR Codes Are Most Likely to Have Been Seen:
- Print Materials
- Billboards and Murals
- Business Cards
- Direct Mailers – Airplane Tickets
- OTT/Streaming Ads
- Internal Memos
- TV Promos
- Via Drones
QR Codes: Concluding Remarks
Marketing professionals may now engage consumers in distinctive, integrated ways thanks to the widespread adoption of QR codes in the marketing mix.
They are easy to use, adapt, and track for both consumers and advertisers.
Like any marketing tool, effective usage of QR codes requires planning and focus, so be sure to take this into account when integrating them into your overall user experience and buyer’s journey.
These squares in black and white won’t disappear anytime soon. Apply them wisely. Put them to good use.