Are QR Codes Still Relevant in 2024?

3 Tips When Deciding to Use QR Codes in Your Marketing Campaigns

In our increasingly fast-paced world, marketers love using QR codes across campaigns and rightfully so. It’s attention grabbing, it can be customized and branded (or over-branded IMO), it fills out a potential design, it’s an easy and intuitive CTA and it’s trackable. What is not to like here!?

I remember purchasing one of my first smart phones and downloading an app that could scan UPC barcodes. Amazing novelty that seemed so practical, but truthfully it rarely worked right. While it had a lot of great potential, who in their right mind would use this? Not me.

Fast forward ten years(ish) later and everyone is trying to be adaptive during a pandemic and wouldn’t you know it, the QR (Quick Response) code was a virtual lifesaver. Every restaurant had a laminated QR code on the table and out came the smartphone with, thankfully, an integrated way to use your camera to scan QR codes and open web content. Simple, streamlined and effective. If your aging parent can order from a virtual menu during the pandemic (with their cheaters on, of course), the possibilities were endless for these little pixelated creatures to inform our visual landscape.

While QR codes were originally developed in the ‘90’s for tracking auto parts, they have slowly become part of our world informing us that perhaps there’s more to the story and to scan here to find out more. Here are a few tips for how and when to use these trackable images for your next marketing campaign.

Know Your Deliverable & Your Audience

Understanding the final deliverable for your marketing collateral is paramount when deciding whether or not to use QR codes. If you’re sending out an email campaign to your email list that is primarily desktop based users, sure slap that QR code at the bottom of your email. If your company’s email list is primarily millennial based mobile users, it might be difficult to scan that QR code from the device they’re reading your email on at the moment.

Protip: if your marketing team is being a stick in the mud and needs to include a QR code in your next email campaign, make sure that same link is used as a hyperlink elsewhere in the content of the email. Sometimes adding multiple methods helps to ensure any recipient can engage with your content.

QR Codes on Social Media Graphics

Most companies know that social media is a necessary part of any effective marketing strategy for your business. With so much noise on each platform, a QR code seems like an amazing tool to grab someone’s attention, right? Well..maybe? As more and more users consume social media on their smartphones, once again, it might not make sense to stick a QR code on a social graphic if the majority of your customers are primarily smartphone users. Proceed with caution when adding QR codes to any social media graphic.

QR Codes on Printed Materials

What a better way to marry traditional and digital marketing than incorporating QR codes into your print campaigns. Think of your print campaign as a way to draw in your potential consumer base and the QR code as a way to move with them after that initial touchpoint. That’s a potentially powerful campaign right there! With that said, discretion is still your best friend here. You might want to reconsider adding a QR code to the billboard ad off of the expressway. Is that the message you want to convey to your audience?

QR codes will continue to be a marketers dream for the foreseeable future. A trackable image that continues the conversation is a perfect solution for those looking to find new ways to engage potential and existing customers AND to be able to track those interactions. If you’re looking for new and innovative ideas for your next campaign, let’s talk and see how we can find the right solutions for you and your marketing team today!

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