In the last decade, marketing has undergone a major shift. The internet and mobile devices have changed all aspects from advertising to customer service. From billboards to social media, marketers are exploring new ways to reach consumers with their messages. A key development is QR codes which use high-tech digital technology for offline businesses who haven’t been able to fully embrace it.
QR stands for quick response code – an industry standard type of barcode that can be scanned with an appropriate device. The code can be used to get information from a website or it can include the direct link for downloading content such as digital images, audio files, videos and more. When you scan a QR code with your smartphone camera, some will decode immediately and others may take a few moments to download before they open up on their screen.
This is why these codes are so powerful – offline businesses who traditionally have not been able to fully embrace Digital Technology now have access to powerful tools that combine the benefits of both worlds. This article will explore how companies can use this technology effectively for their marketing. Now let’s start exploring!
1. Redirect Users to Links:
Businesses can place QR codes in their stores and customers can scan them to be redirected to the website of the store. This website can be bookmarked and used later.
Image Source: Nonius
3. Contactless Visiting Card:
In the times of pandemic, people are trying to avoid any contact. In situations like this, wouldn’t a touch free visiting card prove to be a huge benefit? You can just carry one visiting card with the QR code on it. Upon scanning the QR code, a contact will be stored in the phone of the one who scans it.
Image Source: Brandly
4. Running Contests:
QR codes are a great way to incentivize people. You can make a QR code with the contest details on it and have customers scan it in order to register for your contest.
Image Source: TechInAsia
5. QR Codes in Newspaper / Magazine ads:
For a while now, Digital Marketers have been criticising print media for lack of traceability. This criticism can be somewhat diluted by placing QR codes in the corner of newspaper and magazine ads. These codes when scanned can track the source of the traffic of the website coming from these ads. In fact, a lot of cities are also seeing billboards with QR codes for exactly the same reason.
6. QR Codes in TV Commercials:
TV is the most popular media of all time. Most people will at least glance at a commercial, so why not add your own content? Add a URL with a QR code in it for customers who would like more information about what was being advertised. They just scan the QR Code on the screen!
7. QR Codes on Packaging:
This is a similar tactic to the QR codes on TV commercials. Customers who like something in particular can scan for more information about it!
One of the most popular ways that businesses are taking advantage of this technology is by adding them to their packaging. This way, customers have instant access to additional content before they even buy anything, which may influence purchasing decisions too. Users can be brought online and be made to participate in contests, follow brands on social media, or reorder the same pack just by scanning the QR code.
Image Source: MSLK
8. QR Codes in guiding visitors of the Mall:
Malls have been using QR codes to provide quick access to information about their stores. For example, if someone is in the Mall and wants to know more about a particular store they can simply scan for more information! Moreover, QR Codes placed at specific locations in the Mall help users to be redirected to specific stores, floors or areas within the Mall. This makes it a lot easier for customers to find and reach their desired destinations within the Mall.
Image Source: Flickr
QR Codes in BTL activations:
QR codes are being used in BTL activations to provide information about the brand. A classic example of the QR code being used in BTL activation is through the agency of Gamification. Audiences can be engaged via digital games which they can play on their devices, which can be accessed by scanning QR codes. Before they land on the game, they can submit their contact information, so that they can be gratified later. This also translates to brands generating leads through gamification.
QR Codes in App Installs:
Most marketers are aware about the onelink URL which is a URL that recognises the device of the user, and redirects them to the intended destination. So for example, instead of having users to find an app in Google Play Store or App Store, users can simply scan the QR Code which is redirected through the onelink URL to either the Google Play Store Page or Apple App Store page of the app. Thus, saving the users time and effort to download your app.
QR Codes for social proof strategies:
If a QR code is displayed at billing of a physical store or restaurants, the customers can rate the service at the store before they leave. This helps improve Google Ratings. The same QR Code if made dynamic can help companies redirect the users to different social proof platforms like Facebook Rating, Yelp Rating and Zomato Rating. We will be writing a completely different article about how brands can leverage the power of social proof in a unique manner.
The applications of QR codes can be many. You just need to be creative and think how you can leverage them for your offering.
In conclusion, there is no easier way currently to get offline customers online than by adding these little stickers around town where everyone will be able to see them!