In order to achieve the best results from their campaigns, marketers should integrate online and offline marketing. A great way to realize this arrived with the launch of QR codes, allowing a direct link to be quickly and easily established between offline media and an online webpage. Doing so provides marketers with the possibility of capturing consumers’ attention with a finite-sized (and timed) advertisement in the real world, and directing them to a webpage if unlimited marketing and information potential.
What is a QR code and how does it work?
A Quick Response (QR) code is a 2D matrix barcode, similar to standard barcodes that are found on virtually every consumer product in stores but able to contain a much larger amount of information. They act as a link between the physical and online worlds by directing the user to a mobile landing page, for example.
This is done simply by scanning a QR code using the camera on devices such as smartphones, tablets or smartwatches, using an appropriate app or more commonly just the standard camera function. Such a simple, direct link presents marketers with the opportunity to provide much more detail and interactivity than is possible on the advertisement where the code is printed. That could be on a poster, billboard or conference display, in a magazine, newspaper or brochure, on a postcard, mailer or business card, or even an article of clothing.
What can QR codes do?
As already mentioned, the most common action of scanning a QR code is to direct the user to a mobile website or landing page. However, this is far from the only action that can be performed. That link between the physical and online worlds can also be used, for example, to automatically compose a text message or email, dial a telephone number, download a mobile app or a Vcard of contact details, view a pre-composed special offer or message, view a social media profile or open a map location. So although the most common use of QR codes is to take the user to a specially designed landing page on a website, don’t forget that there are many other possibilities!
Why are QR codes worth using?
Part of their very definition is that they provide a simple, direct and immediate connection between printed media and digital action. It is extremely convenient for a user to take out their smart device and scan the QR code on an advert that they have been attracted to, making them a part of the online world that is integrated with the physical code. Nevertheless, there are plenty of other benefits of QR codes their creators and beyond ease-of-use for the consumer.
Firstly, their versatility means they can be integrated with a large variety of physical media and link to a range of actions, such as those listed earlier. Secondly, QR codes are cost-effective since they cost nothing to produce except for time. Even this time is taken to develop e.g., a mobile landing page, which is device-independent, is efficient compared to developing apps, which need multiple version to be compatible with different devices.
Furthermore, the actions resulting from scanning QR codes are measurable and can be tracked with analytics, which is of course very useful for marketers and their campaigns. Finally, they are environmentally friendly, since space taken up on a physical ad can be reduced when there is plenty of room online to share much more information!
Go mobile first
You need to take into account the almost certain probability that someone who scans your QR code will be doing so using a mobile device or gadget. As such, one needs to ensure that the landing page linked from the code, if that is indeed the resulting action of scanning it, is mobile-friendly and responsive for the user. If the user is linked to a desktop-formatted website instead then it will be difficult for them to operate whilst on-the-go and is likely put them off viewing the website altogether, which will also create a poor first impression of the brand.
How to get even more out of QR codes?
By creating a QR code with RocketLink you can create a custom audience and re-target your ads to people who have already scanned your QR code. For example, one may integrate a real-world shop with a digital application by displaying a QR code in store that links to the download of the company’s mobile app. Then, by using RocketLink, one can offer discounts to users that have scanned this code, i.e. those that are already known to have visited the physical shop!
This is just one of the ways to use RocketLink that are listed on the following blog, where you can learn more: