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QR Codes: Definition and Utilization In Marketing

As technology progresses, there are more and more ways to utilize new technology in your marketing tactics. From incorporating it into daily functions like Teams or Trello to using data analytic software like Zoho or Segment, these new advancements have made marketing much easier. Today we want to talk about one such technological advancement, QR codes, what they are, and how to use them in your marketing strategy.


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What is a QR Code?

Now that QR codes are more common, it’s vital to understand what they are and how they work. Think of a QR code, or “Quick Response Code”, like a cousin to the barcodes used on items in a grocery store. You can scan them, and the software determines what they are, and displays it on your screen. QR codes are similar, 2D barcodes that redirect users to things like coupons, social media profiles, or landing pages.


The QR code was developed by Denso Wave which is a Japanese barcode developer. They developed the QR code in 1994, so it’s been around longer than most people think. Just recently, it has made an emergence into mainstream media and marketing and is used by many businesses in various ways that we will soon get to.


There are two different types of QR codes, static and dynamic. Static QR codes are exactly what they sound like, permanent, and cannot be modified. Once you create it, it cannot be changed. Most importantly, they are free to use. Examples include:

  • Access codes

  • PDFs

  • Wi-fi passwords

Dynamic QR code content can be changed, and data can be tracked. There are many components to a dynamic QR code which include things like Google Analytics integration, multi-URL directories, password-protection feature and so much more. Examples may include:

  • The landing page of a particular product

  • Social media profile

  • Restaurant menu

How does it work?

Much like a barcode, we need to scan the QR code to get access to the information it has. The device we use to scan a QR code is readily accessible, a smartphone. Just open your camera app, point your phone at the QR code, and give it a moment. You may need to tap the screen to focus the lens, but it should pop up with a link that you can then tap on. Easy, convenient, and quick, it has become a great tool for marketers and business owners alike.


What are the benefits?

There are many reasons to use QR codes in marketing today. The main one is the ease at which you can get information that you need that might otherwise be hard to obtain normally. Particularly focusing on the dynamic QR code usage, the way that it can track data for businesses that can then turn around and use that data to better target their audience is a huge advantage.


Another advantage is the different content you can promote. Not only can you use a printed ad for promotion, but placing a QR code on that ad that then directs customers to say a video or your website where they can learn more about the company is a great way to get new information in front of customers easily.


Moving on to yet another advantage, limitations. With QR codes, there are very few. Low on ad space? Use a QR code! With space sometimes becoming an issue on packaging or print ads, utilizing a QR code where customers can scan and attain more information is an added bonus. It can also help save some money in the long run as well.


The last advantage we want to point out would be ease of access. By utilizing a QR code to get consumers to your website, you make it faster and easier for them, which is all the rage. In this way, they don’t have to sit and type out or search for your website. All they must do is point, scan, tap, and boom, they're on your website’s home page. This might be the most important to marketers because it can incentivize consumers to buy from your business because you offer convenience.


With all the benefits that QR codes offer, why haven’t you used them yet? Get in contact with us at Elemental Plans and we can help you determine where you could use a QR code and how it might benefit your business by using one, or a few! QR codes are a great way to get information out to customers in a convenient and fast way. What’s not to love?











Sources

Hubspot, “What is a QR Code + How Does It Work? Everything Marketers Should Know”, Erin Rodrigue, September 21, 2022, https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/16088/everything-a-marketer-should-know-about-qr-codes.aspx, Accessed March 28th, 2023

Qrcode-tiger, “QR Code 101 and How Does It Work? The Beginner’s Ultimate Guide”, Qrcode-tiger, March 27, 2023, https://www.qrcode-tiger.com/how-do-qr-codes-work. Accessed March 28th, 2023

Scanova Blog, “Advantages of QR Code: 6 real reasons to use them”, Shubhi, February 16, 2016, https://scanova.io/blog/advantages-of-qr-code/, Accessed March 28th, 2023


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