Using QR Codes as Part of your Marketing Strategy
QR codes were never hard to find when smartphone popularity initially took off. Their popularity slowly declined over the years up until the scanning software became an integrated element of the camera function on the majority of smartphones released in the past five years.
QR codes have seen somewhat of a resurgence over the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, due to the “touchless” nature of the barcode. Not only are QR codes a cost-effective method of leading customers to websites and app stores easily, but they’re also very customisable and have a low barrier to entry.
Research reveals that usage in Ireland has doubled since the beginning of the pandemic. 21% of adults scanned a QR code in late 2020 as opposed to 11% pre-Covid.
What are QR Codes?
QR codes (Quick Response codes) are scannable barcodes containing data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or application.
While initially designed for the automotive industry in 1994, they are far more common in modern marketing material, allowing customers to get to a website through a quick scan with a camera app.
Discussed below are some of the main ways you can integrate these QR codes into your marketing strategy in 2021:
QR codes can easily be integrated with your organisation’s loyalty program. Some businesses use QR codes to take customers directly to the loyalty sign up page, whereas others go as far as to have a full backend solution allowing customers to scan that QR code and get the value/loyalty points added to the loyalty accounts immediately.
Not only does this allow customers to conveniently increase loyalty points with their own phones, but it also encourages customers to get onto the website. This same approach can also work for getting customers to subscribe to the newsletters or gather valuable feedback.
Combining a traditional direct marketing channel with a digital approach allows marketing teams to easily measure direct mail success with specific metrics. Implementing QR codes into a direct mail piece provides a mixture of both offline and online touchpoints, as well as creates a more interactive experience.
The QR code can create a seamless experience for direct mail recipients. Allowing them to find more information through a scannable code allows marketers to omit URLs on the printed piece, freeing up clutter and creating a more visually pleasing design.
Menus & Catalogues
A common feature of restaurants as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic is where menus and catalogues are only available online. Restaurants have been increasingly adding QR codes to tables allowing visitors to scan the code to take them to the digital menu.
Some dine-in restaurants have even gone a step further, allowing guests to scan a unique table QR code and order the food directly to their tables through their phones to reduce human contact.
Many retail outlets are taking a similar approach, hosting the catalogue online. This allows customers to scan codes from posters and displays within shops and be taken directly to product order pages on their phones.
Social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have introduced interactive QR codes (including Nametags and SnapCodes) to their platforms over the past number of years. Marketers can add these QR codes to printed marketing material allowing scanners to be brought immediately to the correct channel and page in-app.
Popular messaging services such as WhatsApp have also taken a similar approach to QR codes. With WhatsApp for Business becoming increasingly popular, a quick scan of a QR code can lead customers directly to the WhatsApp number they wish to contact without even having to type a single digit.
With the desire to safely keep customers engaged over the next year, the QR code is becoming increasingly popular and will likely continue to see a surge in use as we continue to grapple with the pandemic.
Do you wish to find out more about how QR codes can help with your customer engagement strategy? Be sure to contact us today on +353 1 8041298 or get in touch below!