Brands are constantly developing creative marketing campaigns and strategies to grab customers’ attention. Experiential marketing is one such strategy that can help you get attention, engage your consumers, and boost brand awareness.
QR codes can help you run impactful experiential marketing campaigns. You can use QR codes to digitize physical touchpoints and share a wide range of engaging experiences.
Here’s how to use QR codes in experiential marketing, along with some best practices to follow.
Table of Contents
- What is experiential marketing?
- Benefits of experiential marketing
- How to use experiential marketing with QR codes?
- Best practices for experiential marketing with QR codes
- Final thoughts
What is experiential marketing?
Experiential marketing is a marketing strategy that creates memorable and engaging user experiences to increase brand awareness and build meaningful connections with consumers.
It also goes by the names guerrilla marketing, engagement marketing, live marketing, and participation marketing.
Let’s take the example of Vans to better understand this concept. Vans is one of the largest shoe brands in the world and the market leader in skateboarding shoes and related apparel.
The brand recently hosted House of Vans locations at skateparks in major US cities like Chicago and NYC. It allowed skateboarders to meet up, listen to live music, and skate together. Vans also took this opportunity to promote its new line of shoes.
Benefits of experiential marketing
Experiential marketing can be resource-intensive, so realizing its benefits and potential return on investment (ROI) is essential.
Let’s look at the benefits of experiential marketing.
Boost brand awareness
Hands down, the biggest advantage of experiential marketing is higher brand awareness. It invites consumers to interact with the brand and build deep connections, increasing recognition and awareness.
Gain competitive advantage
Experiential marketing enables you to rise above the ad clutter and gain a competitive advantage. Many brands’ outbound strategy revolves around billboards, print & TV ads, and cold emails/calls. While these strategies work, they’re not essentially customer-centric and might come off as intrusive.
On the other hand, experiential marketing prioritizes user engagement and creating memorable consumer experiences, leading to improved engagement and marketing outcomes.
Offer first-hand product experience
Is there a better marketing strategy than “try before you buy?”
Think of two newly launched energy drinks: Drink A and Drink B. Drink A has terrific reviews, but you just didn’t like its taste. Contrarily, Drink B has mediocre reviews, but you love its taste.
Which one will you buy? Drink B, right?
While persuasive advertising and positive customer testimonials help shape buying decisions, there’s no better purchase driver than hands-on product experience.
In experiential marketing, consumers use the products before buying, which can significantly improve sales.
Ensure authentic marketing
Marketing can be misleading at times, and brands have faced its consequences.
For example, New Balance launched a toning shoe in 2012, claiming to help wearers burn calories. The claim was found to be misleading, and the company faced a class-action lawsuit, which settled for $2.3 million.
Similarly, 5-Hour Energy claimed that their energy drinks were more effective than coffee and recommended by doctors. The claims were found to be deceptive, and the company had to pay $4.3 million in fees and penalties.
All in all, misleading advertising can hurt a brand’s image and pocket.
Since experiential marketing allows consumers to try the product before buying, it ensures authentic marketing and builds trust.
Increase your marketing ROI
A well-executed experiential marketing strategy results in 85% purchase intention and 400% ROI. Experiential marketing attracts consumers and engages their senses, leading to higher engagement and sales.
How to use experiential marketing with QR codes?
Now that we’ve established the benefits of experiential marketing, let’s see how to implement it with QR codes.
At its core, experiential marketing involves consumer engagement. The user must participate in the campaign by engaging with your brand or product.
QR codes are an excellent tool for engaging users and offering them a wide range of experiences.
Here’s how to implement experiential marketing with QR codes.
Bring your traditional advertising to life
Remember we discussed earlier that experiential marketing enables you to rise above traditional advertising? But what if you could transform your traditional ads into experiential marketing?
Yes, it’s possible with QR codes.
The major drawback of traditional ads is one-sided communication. Consumers see your ad, but what’s next? The element of instant actionability is missing.
You can overcome this hurdle by adding a QR code to your billboard, newspaper, or TV ad. As a result, you can invite users to scan your QR code and engage with your brand.
Depending on your marketing objectives, the QR code can point to your website, social media, landing page, or other destinations.
Overall, QR codes bring your offline ads to life and encourage users to engage with your brand.
Use gamification to engage consumers
Gamification is a proven experiential marketing strategy. You can use QR codes to make gamification experiences more accessible.
Suppose you’re a chocolate brand. You can have a QR code on the packaging to send users to a display page where they can spin a wheel or scratch a gift card to accumulate points. Once they collect enough points, they can redeem them for rewards.
Share immersive AR and VR experiences
Augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) revolutionize user experiences. Augmented reality is enabling brands to create interactive product visualizations.
For instance, CISCO used AR to demonstrate its product to potential buyers, which helped the brand increase sales and reduce returns.
If we look at VR, Etsy launched its VR-enabled virtual home feature, allowing shoppers to walk around a virtual house filled with Etsy products.
Brands can use QR codes to share such AR and VR experiences. An AR QR code (a QR code with an AR.js marker) launches an AR experience in the browser. Similarly, you can create a QR code for VR.
Enhance your guerrilla marketing campaigns
If you’re already running guerrilla marketing campaigns, you can make them more actionable and impactful with QR codes.
Remember we discussed the example of Vans in the beginning and how they used the House of Vans to promote their new shoe range? They could’ve done it even better by putting up QR codes pointing to their eCommerce site. This way, participants could’ve engaged with the brand more and made instant purchases.
Create a virtual storefront
Do you want to increase your eCommerce sales while giving your consumers an in-store shopping experience?
Walmart did that with QR codes.
The retail giant created a virtual toy store showcasing its latest toy collections. Every item had a QR code that brought users to the Walmart website where they could buy the item.
Tesco did something similar in South Korea by setting up a virtual store to allow consumers to scan the QR codes to buy products online.
Make the buying process seamless
Offering a smooth, hassle-free buying experience is a crucial pillar of experiential marketing. You can use QR codes to make your eCommerce site or app more accessible. Customers can scan the QR code to reach your site with a single scan and buy the products.
Best practices for experiential marketing with QR codes
QR codes can significantly improve your experiential marketing campaigns, provided that you do it right. Here are some QR code best practices to make your experiential marketing campaigns successful.
Determine the experience
The experience you give to the users is the most important element of an experiential marketing campaign. So, the first step is to determine the experience users will get after scanning the QR code. Will it be a game, AR/VR experience, virtual tour, or something else?
Choose the right QR code generator
The next step is to select the best QR code generator. Choose a platform that offers the perfect combination of features, security, and performance.
QRCodeChimp ticks all those boxes, making it an excellent choice for all your QR code requirements.
Create a dynamic QR code
Always create a dynamic QR code for your marketing campaigns. You can edit the URL of a dynamic QR code, so you can easily change its contents depending on the campaign. Additionally, you can view the analytics of a dynamic QR code, including the number of scans and location, device, and browser information.
Make the QR codes visually appealing
Your QR code’s design will be an integral part of the experiential marketing campaign. Create a visually appealing QR code to attract more scans and engage your users better.
Note: QRCodeChimp offers QR shapes, stickers, colors, and various other customization options to help you create compelling QR codes.
Measure and optimize
Measuring the performance and ROI of your marketing campaigns is crucial. Head to the analytics dashboard of your QR code platform to view your QR code’s analytics, such as total scans, locations of scans, and devices used for scanning.
Use this data to measure your campaign’s performance and optimize it for the best results.
Experiential marketing with QR codes can enable brands to stand out in this fierce marketing landscape. It helps you rise above traditional, one-sided advertising and engage consumers with your brand and product.
You can use QR codes to make your experiential marketing campaigns more accessible and engaging. Use QR codes to share gamification, AR/VR, product information, and other experiences.
If you want to kickstart your QR-enabled experiential marketing campaign, QRCodeChimp has your back. Sign up for QRCodeChimp today and run result-oriented QR code campaigns.