QR Codes have a secret – a big secret that can change the dynamics of marketing.
QR codes can bring together print advertising and online advertising at one place and time within a matter of a few seconds or perhaps, based on how fast you can swipe your smartphone camera on. QR Codes help consumers access your massive virtual world through the physical products that you offer them. Advertising using QR codes opens doors to exciting ways to engage the consumers.
Have you ever thought that a simple price tag on a t-shirt that customers oh-so-casually rip off and throw away can actually win them a heavy discount?
Or that a product label that they don’t use beyond reading the price and expiry dates can help connect with you personally for a much bigger surprise?
Yes, a QR Code can do that and magnify your brand voice, increase sales, and boost customer loyalty.
QR Code is small, simple, cute, quirky, but has a big space
The entire beauty lies inside the 2 x 2 square-shaped box of black and white areas.
But don’t go by its size.
QR Codes run along with smartphone technology. You swipe open your phone camera, scan the code on a paper, banner, tag, label, t-shirt, or whatever it is printed on, and enter into a different online world. Sometimes you can do so without having an active internet connection too.
QR Codes were initially used in the automotive industry, now they have journeyed through different products, purposes, industries, and consumers.
Today QR Codes are everywhere and extremely used by Japan and China, so much that Apple had to remodel its product iPhone X to accommodate a QR Code, which is mandatory in China. USA, India, UK, and UAE are soon catching up with the trend.
Regardless of your business, industry, or your whereabouts, if a portion of your consumers uses a smartphone, then you must use QR Codes to competitively differentiate your brand and reach them in an almost one-to-one way.
Why you should love QR Codes
And guess what, a QR Code can store a lot more information than its predecessor, the barcodes.
Barcodes have ruled products for a long time for passing information, and they still are. But, they are unappealing, stern-looking, and even though lengthy, can store not more than 20 alphanumeric characters. They are one-dimensional too, meaning a scanner can read them from left to right only.
Now the successor – QR (Quick Response) Code has a lot many benefits:
- They are cute, interest piquing, and small in size.
- They can be printed on anything and everything – from business cards to building hoardings.
- They are CHEAP. Implementing them as a marketing strategy would cost you 10 times less than what you would spend on exclusive digital marketing tools.
- They are 2-dimensional, meaning they can be read from left to right and top to bottom.
- They can be generated in colors, and with graphics and company logos.
- They can be customized to the company’s preferences.
THE BEST PART: they have the capability to store 20 X times more information (other than alphanumeric) than a barcode. And here’s a list of things they can store in them:
- Ad campaigns
- YouTube video links
- Videos, audios, and images
- Sign up for newsletter or subscription
- Gift coupons and discounts
- Itinerary or calendar event
- PDF files
- Photo gallery
- Landing page links
And…Everything in between.
How QR Codes bridge the gap?
Consumers find it very difficult to associate what is in print and what is on the web due to a lack of connection. You put QR Codes on offline pages, and they take you to online pages.
For example, say your customer is looking through a magazine and come across your brand wedding outfit’s ad. At the corner/middle of the page, they find a QR Code with a description ‘scan the code to check our entire wedding collection and matching accessories’ or ‘scan the code to get directions to our store in the city’. The consumer (a would-be bride) right away scans the code and goes through the collection, and if it suits their preferences, they will make a quick purchase.
Without a code, the consumer just jots down your name and turns the page. You probably lost one of your biggest consumers if she/he doesn’t get back to you.
- QR Codes make you attract visitors to your brand, product, store, or website twice as many times.
- If you want your customer to show what went behind the yummy instant noodles they are having, add a recipe or production video link inside the QR Code printed on the product label.
- If you want your customers to connect with you, embed a Direct Message or Feedback page link.
- If you want to track which product of your sold most, in which part of the country or in which retail store, you can find the statistics through a QR Code scans.
- You can even add a QR Code to beat counterfeiting (a widespread problem in medical, health, food, and cosmetics industries) and protect your consumers’ interest.
Where can QR Codes be used in marketing?
You can use QR Codes in a variety of settings. In fact, if you have a physical marketing material right now with you, you can print a QR Code on it and increase ROI. QR Codes can be integrated into:
- Event displays
- Product packaging
- Food labeling
- Flight/ event/ conference tickets
- Brochures, pamphlets, placards, and flyers
- Shop displays
- Shop boards
- Menu cards
QR Codes are environmental-friendly, cost-effective, convenient, easily customizable, easily manageable, device-independent, HD quality, accurate, measurable, and competitive. Since QR Codes are relatively new to most countries, businesses that employ the power of QR Codes can set themselves apart as a strategic marketing leader.
They are versatile too. So, right from an individual laborer to a building constructing company, anyone can use QR Codes and earn a profit.