By now, most of us have been to a restaurant that didn’t offer menus upon seating but instead had a QR code link set up on their table. Teachers use QR codes to play games in their classrooms and apps like Snapchat and Venmo have their own versions that users can scan to interact with one another and send payment. However, QR codes have a lot to offer in the marketing world as well. Whether you want to provide content, accept payment, share contact information or something else, there is no shortage of ways to creatively integrate QR codes into your next campaign. 

How do QR Codes Work?

One of the most exciting aspects of QR codes is that they are highly accessible for both creators and users. According to their inventor, Hara Masahiro, they can hold 200 times as much information as a traditional bar code, giving marketers an easy way to convey huge amounts of information. The best part? His company, Denso Wave, holds patent rights for their use but chooses not to exercise them, so you can create your code for free online. The 2D structure of QR codes also makes it easier for the people using them as consumers, since they can be read from multiple angles at fairly far distances. Now, anyone can use QR codes as marketing and advertising tools, especially since a simple Google will show you several tools that allow you to create codes not only freely but easily.

QR Codes are Easier to Use than Ever

At Red Thinking, we are always looking for what is on the horizon as far as the next best tool, and QR codes continue to rise in popularity across several industries. Beaconstac recently released a piece revealing that 2022 is the Year of the QR Code and we couldn’t agree more. While many have strayed from using these codes in the past for their size or the clunky apps required to use them, these obstacles have been removed for both iPhone and Android users with their operating system updates. Now, phone users can simply open their phone camera, scan a QR code that is relatively small in size and access any associated links or information. Plus, 75% of consumers said they plan to use QR codes in the future which means using QR codes in your marketing strategy is no-brainer.

The Ways to Use QR Codes are Only Increasing

Now that we know how QR codes are used in a technical sense, we need a deeper understanding of how marketers and advertisers can convey specific information. 

Tracking and understanding our reach, in any form of marketing, is always important and a holiday mailer for our client, Village At Leesburg (managed by Rappaport) was a quick and smart way for us to see that folks were ready to come back together; by attending the center’s much adored (and missed!) annual tree-lighting. Blanketing two zip codes in Loudoun County, VA, that are the known foot traffic/visitors to the center, Red Thinking incorporated a QR code on a direct mail piece that was mailed out to call attention to the annual tree lighting and the many December to-do’s at Village At Leesburg. The QR code led the user to a landing page that outlined, in greater detail, what the direct mail piece teased and announced. From the date the mailer hit homes, The direct mailer had nearly 50 scans with a majority of scans occurring between November 20th (the in-home date) and December 2nd. People also scanned the most on Thanksgiving (11/25), between 5-7 pm. 38 scans were with an iphone, over iPad or Android devices. Being able to track something so quickly, and see that the message and how it was distributed worked, was a great KPI to consider additional QR code initiatives in the new year!

Other ways to incorporate QR codes into your marketing or advertising strategy are only limited by your imagination. They can be included on tags for products to give customers more information on your company’s innovation or sustainability. If you have a pop up event, QR codes can enhance their experience by providing AR or augmented reality that further engages them with your brand while keeping them on location. QR codes can even give your business’ visitors information about your health and safety policies when they arrive so everyone is on the same page. 

QR codes are all about taking user experiences with your brand to the next level. They create room for more interaction and give customers something to take home with them that requires no storage but can still turn them into brand loyalists. Whether you’re trying to grow your social media following, share your newest business developments or just give simple directions to your new location, QR codes are an easily integrated and forward thinking option.