Darcy Grabenstein
Darcy Grabenstein 23 June 2016

Don’t Be So Quick to Sound the Death Knell for Quick Response (QR) Codes

Many digital marketers are heralding the demise of QR codes, but they still are going strong. If you're thinking about incorporating them into your digital campaigns, here are a few do's and don'ts, along with several online resources.

Ask many marketers about QR codes, and you’ll likely hear something along the lines of “Oh, they’re so yesterday.” I hate to burst their bubble, but QR codes are alive and well.

The beauty of QR codes is that they can contain a great amount of data. They also engage the consumer, creating an interactive experience. The flip side is that they require the consumer to scan the QR code and then take action.

With mobile use skyrocketing, mobile marketing is all the rage. So why not implement QR codes as part of your mobile marketing strategy? Let’s face it, smaller businesses just don’t have the capability to implement near-field communication (NFC) initiatives.

Once you’ve decided to use QR codes, where do you start? First, you’ll need to generate a QR code. This free QR code generator is easy to use; simply type in your destination URL and download.

Here are a few ideas on how to use QR codes in your marketing efforts:

  • Offer product or service coupons
  • Download a business card
  • Share customer testimonials
  • Link to social media sites
  • Promote email signup
  • Link to a free audio clip of a podcast, recording artist, etc.
  • Show a contest entry form

And here are a few ideas on how not to use QR codes:

  • Avoid sending the customer to your site’s home page. Instead, link to content that’s timely and relevant. Consider creating a dedicated landing page for the campaign.
  • Don’t place a QR code on a billboard, public bus or other place that’s inaccessible to mobile phones. (I know, it sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised where QR codes have appeared.)

And who says a QR code has to look like a QR code? Ad agency Leo Burnett created a temporary tattoo for the Tourism Authority of Thailand tourism scanned like a QR code. When scanned, the tattoo takes users to a series of videos that promote different aspects of Thailand, according to Adweek.

Don’t assume that everyone in your target audience already has a QR reader app. Once you begin promoting your QR code campaign, offer links to download an app. Provide options for both Android and iPhone devices.

As with any marketing campaign, it can’t hurt to test approaches. And be sure to track your results.

Yes, my digital colleagues, QR codes might just be making a comeback.

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