The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in two years of non-stop business disruption in 2020-2021. Customer behaviors underwent substantial paradigm shifts, forcing businesses to relook their marketing and customer engagement strategies.
Even though the pandemic rendered adverse effects on all sectors, it allowed organizations to improvise, adapt, and rise. Several marketing trends emerged, the most prominent of which were omnichannel marketing and customer engagement.
Many research reports and surveys conducted over the past couple of years concluded that omnichannel marketing is the key to consistent customer engagement, sales, and business growth.
The more marketing channels an organization deploys, the more its market share increases.
While omnichannel marketing opened doors for reaching new and existing customers, it conceived a new challenge. Organizations had to integrate online and offline channels to ensure consistency and superior user experience. For example, if a shoe brand uses offline (billboards, newspaper ads) and online (search engine, social media)channels to promote their products, they must integrate them to give users a consistent user experience across touchpoints.
This gave birth to offline-to-online (O2O) marketing, which leverages digital and traditional marketing channels and integrates them to drive purchases from eCommerce and physical stores.
QR codes are at the forefront of O2O marketing, as they enable businesses to seamlessly bridge the gap between online and offline channels. With a QR Code for marketing, organizations can engage customers across channels, run measurable marketing campaigns, and enhance their marketing, branding, and customer acquisition initiatives.
This guide will discuss how marketing agencies can implement QR codes to run cost-effective and measurable omnichannel marketing campaigns.
How can marketing agencies use QR code for marketing?
Mobile devices dictate consumer behavior in today’s era. A whopping 6.4 billion smartphone users are there globally, and an average user spends about three hours per day on the phone. Moreover, 69% of internet users use smartphones for product research, and 69.4% use them for shopping.
Hence, engaging mobile users is a priority for marketing agencies, and QR codes make it possible. Here’s how marketing agencies can use QR codes.
Increase website traffic and generate leads with a Marketing QR code
The most widespread application of QR codes in marketing is to direct users to a website or landing page. Selling online is no longer an option in this digital age. Over 12 million eCommerce stores are there, and this number has increased dramatically during the pandemic. Moreover, businesses that offer physical products and services also have websites and landing pages to raise awareness and collect leads.
Guiding an online audience to a website is relatively easier. Marketers just need to share the website link with the users, and they can click on it to visit the website. The problem, however, occurs when marketers need to engage an offline audience and direct them to a website or landing page. Users have no choice but to open their browser and enter the URL. This process is time-consuming and prone to error.
QR codes allow marketers to direct an offline audience to a website or landing page using a URL QR code (a QR code linked to a URL). Users can scan the QR code using their smartphones and visit the website. It eliminates the need for manually typing the URL, resulting in greater accessibility and a better user experience.
Create digital business cards for your clients
Business cards allow service providers, like consultants, realtors, insurance agents, etc., to share contact details and grow their network. Though physical business cards are still relevant, they require a fair bit of manual labor. People need to enter the details into their smartphone to save a contact, which is tedious and error-prone.
Placing a vCard Plus QR code on a business card adds digital capabilities to it. Users can scan the QR code to view reach your digital business card and save the contact information without entering the details manually. This saves time, increases accuracy, and helps providers grow their network more rapidly.
Pro tip: Use QRCodeChimp to create a vCard Plus QR code for your clients, which acts as a virtual contact card and helps share contact details with a single scan.
Recommended: Digital Business Card: A Complete Guide
Boost mobile app downloads
The mobile app economy is booming, and mobile apps are anticipated to generate over $935 billion in revenue by 2023. Over 70% of US digital media time comes from mobile apps, and an average smartphone user uses at least ten apps per day.
Mobile apps are one of the most effective channels to reach and engage a mobile audience, which presently makes up more than half of all internet users.
With QR codes, marketers can promote mobile apps on traditional advertising channels like billboards and newspapers to get more downloads. Marketers can use an app download QR code to create a QR code for app download links. A user can scan the code and select the platform (iOS or Android) to reach the app store and download the app.
Attract feedback and reviews
Nine out of ten consumers read reviews before making a purchase, and 79% of them trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
However, convincing customers to leave a positive review can be challenging, primarily because the feedback process is long and involves various steps. A customer is more likely to give feedback if the reviewing process is quick and straightforward.
A feedback QR code allows marketers to simplify the feedback process and get more reviews. Users can scan the QR code to reach the feedback page. Hence, marketing agencies can use QR codes to help their clients get more reviews.
Grow email list
Email marketing has been one of the most effective marketing strategies for years. Over 4 billion people use email daily, and 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers.
Building and growing an email list is the primary step of any email marketing campaign. Email QR codes allow marketers to grow their email list by allowing users to join it with a single scan. Users can scan the code to reach the email signup page and enter their email addresses to join the list.
Enable event registration to increase participation
The primary goal of event marketing is to increase enrollments, and event QR codes make it easier. Marketing agencies can put up event QR codes on billboards and print ads to allow seamless registration. Users can scan the code to enter the details and register for the event.
Recommended: Best Practices to Use QR Codes for Event Management
Share helpful information to educate your audience
QR codes allow the effortless sharing of information and multimedia. Marketers who want to educate their consumers can use QR codes to share a wide range of information, including images, GIFs, videos, and PDFs.
QRCodeChimp allows you to create a PDF QR code, image QR code, and video QR code to share information with your users.
Recommended: How to Convert your PDF to QR Code?
Offer discount codes and coupons
Discount coupons can accelerate purchases dramatically. Over 70% of consumers love receiving coupons, and 68% believe coupons help generate loyalty.
Most marketers realize the importance of discount coupons. However, distributing coupons and encouraging consumers to use them is the real challenge. QR codes address this issue and help promote the usage of coupon codes.
Businesses can share coupon QR codes with their customers, who can scan the code to reveal the discount code and use it while purchasing.
Why should marketing agencies use a QR code for marketing?
QR codes offer countless benefits to marketing agencies. It enables marketers to reach their audience across multiple channels and boost user engagement. Here’s why QR codes should be in every marketing agency’s arsenal.
Increasing popularity among users
QR codes have become increasingly popular among people worldwide. Over 45% of US shoppers have used marketing-related QR codes, which climbs up to 54% for shoppers aged 18-29 years.
The rising popularity of QR codes makes them an excellent customer engagement solution. They create a sense of curiosity among users, and they’re an ideal tool for interactive marketing campaigns.
Seamless offline to online (O2O) marketing
The rise of omnichannel marketing has encouraged marketers to integrate their online and offline marketing systems. QR codes make that integration effortless.
Marketers can place a QR Code for marketing on traditional advertising channels like billboards, print ads, digital signage, flyers, etc., and link the QR codes to their website or landing page. Users can engage with offline advertisements by scanning those QR codes.
Hence, brands can bridge the gap between online and offline marketing using QR codes by enabling offline users to come aboard online.
In-depth tracking and analysis
QR codes are trackable, and marketers can track how often their QR codes have been scanned and from which locations and devices. This allows marketers to run measurable marketing campaigns and track the effectiveness of their traditional advertisements.
For example, a salon and spa business can run a billboard ad with a QR code, allowing users to scan the code to make an appointment. The number of scans will tell how many people took action, giving an accurate measure of the ad’s performance.
Recommended: A Complete Guide to QR Code Analytics
Cost-effective marketing and branding
Startups and small brands operate with limited marketing budgets. QR codes are one of the most cost-effective marketing, branding, and customer engagement tools out there.
With QRCodeChimp, for example, you can create a dynamic marketing QR code for free and track its scans. Even the paid plans are highly affordable, and the infinite use cases of QR codes in marketing make them a high-return investment.
A QR Code for marketing can be printed as PDF or PNG files in multiple sizes and used in various places. Moreover, marketers can use them for many purposes, such as promoting websites and social media, sharing contact details, growing email lists, sharing information, etc.
Pro tip: Use QRCodeChimp to create QR codes for 30+ applications, from business cards to coupons to social media and more.
Durable and lasting marketing
QR codes never expire, and thus, marketers can create QR codes once and use them for years. Moreover, QR codes can be scanned even after sustaining 30% structural damage, making them highly durable and perfect for long-lasting marketing.
Best places to put QR codes for marketing
QR codes are highly versatile, and marketers can put them in various places. Let’s look at the best placements for QR codes.
Newspapers, magazines, and other types of print media are perfect for placing QR codes. Even though the world is moving online, newspaper and magazine readership has grown steadily over the past years. By placing a QR code on a newspaper or magazine, marketers can provide readers a gateway to their website or other digital destinations.
Pro tip: Check the location of your scans in your QRCodeChimp dashboard. The location data will help you discover areas where your brand gets the most engagement.
Recommended: How to Use QR Codes in Newspapers and Magazines?
Marketing agencies can incorporate QR codes in various out-of-home (OOH) advertising options. These include billboards, digital signage, and posters in public areas like bus stops, metro stations, etc. The QR codes can be linked to a website, social media, contact details, educational information, and more. QR codes also work great with guerilla marketing campaigns.
In-store signage is another fantastic place to put QR codes. Retailers can use it to promote their website and social media profiles and share valuable information like contact information and product details.
Smart product packaging is an emerging concept in the retail space, and QR codes make smart packaging more effective. Manufacturers can place QR codes on their product packaging to guide customers to online channels and build deeper relationships with them.
Business cards will never lose popularity, and marketers can put QR codes on their clients’ business cards to inspire instant action. A vCard Plus QR code on a business card allows providers to share their contact details with a single scan. Users can scan the code to view and save the contact information.
Flyers, brochures, and handouts
Other print media like flyers, handouts, and brochures are excellent places to put QR codes and connect with offline users. Depending on their marketing goals, marketers can use QR codes on flyers to increase website traffic, drive leads and sales, show directions, share information, etc.
Apparel and accessories
Marketing agencies can use QR codes on all apparel and accessories, including clothes, shoes, wearables, jewelry, etc., by either printing them on the product or as a tag. The QR codes can be linked to various online channels as per the marketing strategy.
Recommended: How to use QR Codes on clothing?
Shopping bags, like product packaging, can be an effective place to use QR codes. Marketers can turn shopping bags into marketing assets by putting QR codes on them and linking them to their website, social media, and other online channels.
Best practices for QR code marketing
QR codes have a plethora of use cases, and if used wisely, they can enhance a marketing strategy and help a brand boost customer engagement. Here are some best practices marketing agencies should follow for implementing QR codes.
Prioritize getting QR code scans
The essential rule of QR code marketing is to use QR codes only if the campaign’s objective is to get scans on QR codes. For instance, if a marketing agency runs a campaign for a home repair service and the aim is to get more bookings, they can use QR codes to allow people to make a booking.
Pro tip: If you’re using traditional advertising channels to promote eCommerce stores like Etsy or Amazon, you can use QR codes to direct people to your product page and get sales.
Recommended: How to get more scans on your QR code?
Align QR codes with the overall marketing strategy
Marketers should carefully integrate QR codes into their overall marketing strategy to ensure no disconnect and confusion. QR codes should play a defined role in supporting the marketing objectives and contributing to the ROI.
For example, if the goal of a marketing campaign is to increase website traffic and leads, the QR code should guide users to the website. If the goal is to share contact information and get callbacks, the QR code should share contact information.
Turn QR codes into branding tools
A logo with a QR code can be a powerful branding asset and help marketers increase brand awareness. Marketers should create QR codes with logos to ensure consistent branding and align their QR codes with their brand.
Ensure perfect size and placement
QR codes need to be easily scannable. The attention span of users is continuously plunging, and they won’t bother engaging with a QR code if it takes multiple attempts to scan. Therefore, it’s crucial to print QR codes of proper size and clarity. The minimum recommended size for QR codes is 0.8 x 0.8 inches, which can be increased as per requirements.
Create a top-notch QR design
The success of a QR code campaign depends significantly on its look and feel. A visually appealing QR code is likely to get more attention and scans. Therefore, marketers must move ahead of square-shaped, black and white QR codes and experiment with new shapes and colors to ensure higher engagement. For example, a shoe store can use shoe-shaped QR codes to instantly connect with consumers and get more scans.
Pro tip: Use QRCodeChimp to create perfectly designed QR codes. It offers 60+ shapes, 150+ stickers, and a comprehensive range of colors to create a QR code that aligns with your brand and ensures superior engagement.
Use calls to action (CTAs)
Providing a call to action (CTA) with a QR code can encourage users to scan it. Marketers must use actionable CTAs like “Scan to get directions” and “Scan to get 10% off” to boost scan rate.
Pro tip: Make your QR codes actionable with QRCodeChimp — choose from 150+ stickers with CTAs.
Use dynamic QR codes
Marketers should always create dynamic QR codes, so they can change the information and URL without reprinting the codes. Also, scans on dynamic QR codes are trackable, so marketers can measure the performance of their QR code campaigns and make informed decisions.
Prioritize user experience
The ultimate purpose of using QR codes is to boost user engagement, and hence, it’s critical to make the entire QR code experience user-friendly. Marketers must not only provide a seamless scanning experience but also offer a smooth post-scan experience to ensure the overall success of their QR code campaign.
Use cases: Brands putting QR codes to the right use
The use of QR codes in marketing and customer engagement has skyrocketed over the past few years. Several global brands implemented QR codes in their marketing and business strategies to integrate offline and online channels. Let’s look at some brands using QR codes the right way.
General Motors included QR codes to share critical vehicle information and boost customer engagement.
Walmart set up a virtual toy store by displaying physical toys and including a QR code with each of them. Users could scan the code to reach the online toy store and buy the toys.
Porsche implemented a QR code during the 2018 Digital Signage Expo, where users could scan the code and design their custom Porsche Cayenne Turbo 2019.
Burger King showed a QR Code for marketing on its TV commercial to engage customers during the pandemic. Users could scan the QR code floating on the screen and reach the Burger King website to get free discount coupons.
Starbucks put up app download QR codes in their stores to boost app downloads.
IKEA also promoted its mobile app using app download QR codes in its stores.
Cygames took QR codes to another level by displaying a giant QR code in the sky consisting of 1,500 QR codes. Users could scan the code to download Princess Connect, a game by Cygames.
The marketing landscape is constantly changing, and QR codes have emerged as a game-changer in this post-pandemic era. Omnichannel marketing and offline-to-online (O2O) integration are essential priorities for most brands, making QR codes a crucial aspect of their marketing strategies. QR codes have myriad marketing and customer engagement applications, with new use cases continuously emerging.
However, QR code marketing is still a new concept, and many marketers aren’t acquainted with its true potential and the right way of implementing it.
QRCodeChimp is a global leader in QR code management solutions. Our QR code management platform enables you to create, edit, manage, and track your QR codes.
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