Technology grows exponentially. In the field of marketing, we must constantly adapt to new tools and techniques to stay effective. So when someone brings up the scannable QR code, that familiar black and white pixelated square invented nearly 3 decades ago, it’s easy to think it’s old news.
However, the QR code is a rare technical evolution that actually came back around, and now it’s one of the cheapest and easiest ways to connect with your audience. Let’s talk about what exactly a QR code is, and how you can use this technology to reinforce your marketing efforts.
So what is a QR code, and how does it work?
A quick response (QR) code is similar to a barcode. It stores a lot of data in a 2d graphic that special scanners can read based on how the lines and negative space is arranged. Barcodes use vertical lines, but QR codes use many small pixel-like squares. QR codes are also quicker to process information and can handle more data compared to barcodes, and many businesses now use them to direct people to websites and social pages.
Some of the top reasons QR codes are common today include;
- Safe and tamper-proof
- Process data and provide relevant information quickly
- Can hold a lot of data and information
- Promote engagement with your intended users
- Effective in directing customers to the right platform or page
- Touchless nature is convenient and user-friendly
How do you make a QR code?
Making a code may sound complicated, but you don’t actually have to know anything about how to arrange pixels. There are many online QR code generators that will instantly create a high-resolution, free QR code with any data you want to encode.
One of our favorites is qrcode-monkey.com because it offers many options for customization of data and appearance, and it allows for saving multiple file formats.
There are static and dynamic QR codes, both of which are extensively used in the marketing industry. Static codes point to a set bit of data that can’t change once the code is made. Dynamic QR codes allow the owner to change what data it points to even though the graphic stays the same.
What makes QR codes so effective?
In the last few years, more companies are transitioning to QR codes. The marketing sector has especially experienced a boom in this area. But are QR codes effective? The simple answer is yes, QR codes are highly effective, especially in today’s remote business environment. Here are some of the ways QR codes have proved a helpful and practical impact.
1. Anyone with a smartphone can scan a QR code instantly
Up until recently, people had to download a QR reading app which was inconvenient for many. Now, today’s smartphones come with a QR reader built into the camera. So reading a code is as simple as tap and point, and they will instantly receive your link. This means you can easily reach a wide pool of users.
2. Touchless interaction becomes super simple
Having QR codes in your physical stores creates a way for health-conscious customers to interact without touching brochures, menus, or other forms of conventional marketing. For example, with a simple QR code, a customer can learn more about your brand, see more details about your services, and even contact you, and you never had to hand out a piece of physical media that would end up in the trash.
However, it is important to note that physical products should still be available for accessibility reasons. People without smartphones, or those with vision or physical disabilities may not be able/may prefer not to use QR codes. But scannable codes are a cheap and easy way to reach a large part of your market, and touchless has become something many customers seek out in their in-person interactions.
3. Bridge the gap between offline and online marketing
Most companies use both conventional and digital marketing avenues. While digital is easy to measure, some forms of offline marketing are hard to quantify. For example, if you have a billboard, you can’t exactly tell how many people saw it or followed the call to action.
Using QR codes can help you bridge this gap between the two forms of marketing. For example, many businesses now include a QR code in most forms of offline and print marketing. This way, a potential customer can easily scan the code and be directed to the relevant online platform.
3. QR codes allow for analytics & variable content
Some paid QR-generating services offer access to analytics so you can follow how many times people scan your code. They may also allow you to have a dynamic QR code where the appearance of the code stays the same, but the content it directs to changes. This allows you to use the real-time data to make changes to your products or even marketing campaigns without having to reprint.
QR codes are an undeniable resource for companies, regardless of size or specialty. These features and benefits highlight their importance to your marketing efforts. Utilizing these features can help you reach your intended user, engage with the customer directly, and improve your products.
Want to start using QR codes in your marketing?
Let us design your next print marketing campaign! We’ve worked with many clients to incorporate useful QR codes into print flyers, can labels, business cards, and more. We’d love to hear about your business and help connect you with your target customers. Contact us now!