In 2019, QR codes were rarely used by companies and consumers alike, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have seen a resurgence across the world, especially in the hospitality industry. Restaurants and hotels are using them for menus and mobile ordering in order to increase safety of patrons and staff. PayPal introduced payments via QR codes in May and rolled out the technology in 26 countries. The success has been exciting, and the rest of the business world is definitely taking note — including marketing.
But how can this little square cause such a big shake up in the marketing industry? There are endless applications, but in the forefront of change, this could mean that print is back! Print began to lose some traction in the marketing world years ago in favor of more trackable means of digital advertising, but with the resurgence of the QR code, print could have a new way of converting passive viewers into customers. Finally, you can get real, trackable insights into those print pieces you work so hard on.
Thinking about incorporating QR codes into your next marketing campaign? Here’s some things to think about:
- This Isn’t a Mystery Vacation: A user should open the QR code knowing exactly what they’re going to find. It’s the same approach as asking a user to click on your link in your bio on Instagram; make sure they’re going to the QR code for a compelling reason.
- Make the Destination Pop: Sending a user to the homepage of your website with a QR code feels a little pointless. Try an interior page with focused content for your campaign, a landing page, or an engaging video. The QR code is not only helping convert users, but also bring your print campaign to life.
- Track, Track, Track: This should go without saying, but make sure you incorporate tracking in your QR code. The beauty of the QR code is that it digitizes tracking for a centuries old format of marketing. Use parameters to tell you which campaign the end user saw or other useful information that can help inform your future campaigns.
- Get Creative: QR codes can be used in retail spaces, on product labels, or in pamphlet material to provide consumers with valuable information at their fingertips. Imagine a for sale sign QR code that links you directly to a virtual tour of the home or packaging QR codes that could be scanned to reorder a product — the possibilities are truly endless.
- Keep User Safety in Mind: While consumers are more experienced than ever in using and scanning QR codes, they still (hopefully) won’t be scanning them while walking or driving — so billboards are definitely out.
- They Should be Large and in Charge: Humans love things we recognize like words or pictures, but a funky looking digital square is not human-brain friendly. While people are learning to see a QR code and know it can be scanned, it’s still important to make sure a potential user doesn’t glance over it on your collateral.
- Traditional is Still Valid: Some users are not going to adapt as quickly as others. Make sure there is a link available for them to type in manually in case they can’t figure out QR codes.
- Make It Easy: Wherever your user ends up, make sure it’s easy to navigate on a mobile phone and it doesn’t involve too much time. For example, requiring a sign-in for a simple action could frustrate users more than help them.
While QR codes are definitely not new, they finally have a chance at success in the marketing space. Is your company interested in using them and needs some help figuring out how? Drop us a line and let’s work together to keep you relevant and moving forward!