Sometimes assimilated to the barcode, the QR code is differentiated by various square-shaped patterns. It has been used for a few years in marketing to make a brand better known, it is affixed to magazines, advertisements or even on the packaging of certain products to combine paper and digital media and attract more customers. So how to use the QR code well in your digital marketing strategy?
What is a QR code?
QR, literally Quick Response or quick response, is a code visible on the paper format to instantly get different data when scanned with your phone. Invented in 1994 by the Japanese company Denso Wave, this code system was used to track the manufacture of parts and vehicles.
The barcodes designed during this period made it possible to encode Japanese scripts, in particular kana, kanji as well as alphanumeric characters. The square shape was particularly chosen by the team of designers of this system to scan it and read it more easily.
Quickly adopted in the automotive industry, the QR code is now required by consumers to better know the origin of the products purchased. As time goes by, this transparency is also required for pharmaceutical and food products.
Not exercising its patent rights and making the QR code available to the public, the Denso Wave company lets each company freely create its own QR code. However, drives for this system were not yet publicly available. It was not until 2002 that the first readers appeared with the creation of the first mobile phones. The first micro QR code was then created in 2004 before the iQR code with rectangle-shaped modules.
During this time, the first iPhone appeared and made this system known internationally. Noticing the effectiveness of this system in the field of marketing and promotion, organizations and brands are now resorting to its use. After being awarded the Good Design Award in the field of industrial design, the QR code is now widespread throughout the world. It is present on brochures, magazines, billboards and is also used to make a payment transfer.
Why use the QR code in digital marketing?
The QR code makes it easy to switch from paper to digital. To perform this operation, the user must install, via Google Play Store or ITune Store, a QR code reader application on his smartphone. Then simply open the application and then point the smartphone camera towards the code to obtain almost instantaneous decoding with the appearance of all the data inside.
Estimate your return on investment
You can trace your QR code to know your ROI. By checking the usage statistics, you have the possibility to access in real time the number of visitors who have interacted with your content. Thanks to this system, you will improve your advertising campaign if it is not effective, detect effective communication techniques and know how to make the right decisions at the right time.
Improve user experience
The QR code simplifies the task of the user who no longer has to write down a URL or memorize the content of a poster. The user experience is improved because he can jot down several data in a short time.
Effectively use the QR code for your marketing strategy
Before using the QR code, take into account these elements concerning your target and your objectives.
Put in place a strategic plan
Take the time to get to know your target well with their needs and expectations. Make sure your persona knows how to use it, especially using their smartphone.
In order to effectively evaluate your advertising campaign afterwards, define your objectives as:
- Encourage to install your mobile application;
- Grow your email list;
- Increase the number of likes and subscribers on your Facebook page…
After having clearly defined your objectives, consider producing content that meets the needs of your consumers. By integrating this system into your marketing strategy, you:
- Offer a simple payment method;
- Promote your products through videos or photos;
- Increase interactions on your publications;
- Get more leads.
To encourage them to scan your QR code, produce attractive content, such as:
- Participation in a competition;
- VIP access;
- promotional offers;
- Free download of an e-book;
- The virtual tour of your site.
Generate an effective QR code
To stand out from the competition, bet on a quality QR code with your logo and different colors to better personalize it. You will find various websites that allow you to easily perform this operation.
Its reading must be simplified with a minimum of relevant information. Indeed, if you put too much data inside it, it will be complicated to read the image on a phone, because it will be composed of many points that are difficult to decode.
In order to be sure that it can be read by everyone, test it through various applications and on different types of mobile devices.
Analyze the performance of your campaigns
Analyze the performance of your ad campaign to determine whether or not you were able to meet your goals. This phase is important to take stock of:
- Your goals: if you didn’t achieve them, they may not have been achievable;
- Your target: if your campaign was not performing well, it means that you may not have addressed the right audience;
- Your way to encourage scanning: For your next campaign, you can try another method.
Why adopt the QR code in your marketing strategy?
When you scan a QR code found on a physical medium using a smartphone, you immediately access digital content. If this system was forgotten for a few years, it has proven to be essential with the changes in consumer behavior in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to respecting social distancing measures, this solution makes it possible to limit physical interactions as much as possible. It is also ideal for simplifying contact and encouraging contactless payment.
A complement to the face-to-face customer experience
The QR code provides additional data online compared to the information available at physical points of sale. Offering certain content in a digital version has various advantages.
To optimize supports
The paper medium does not provide all the detailed information on a specific product or service. The data provided must be both clear and concise to avoid overload and disinterest on the part of the reader.
It is preferable to give additional information in a digital version to explain the details of the product or service in peace. If you sell food, for example, you can provide a detailed presentation using a QR code of the local producers who are your collaborators. On the packaging of this product, you also have the possibility of proposing a recipe accessible on your blog via this system.
By opting for this solution, you do:
- increase traffic to your website;
- savings, because you can update your content at any time. In addition, you reduce your printing costs;
For health reasons
Although the social distancing measures taken during the Covid-19 crisis are no longer mandatory, it is still interesting and safe for a merchant to maintain them. Such an option makes it possible to reduce the various physical exchanges of the presentation media for your products. Thus, the risks of transmission of viruses or possible diseases are limited.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, some restaurants adopted the QR code to avoid passing cards from hand to hand. The code is thus affixed to each of the tables to present the daily menu to customers.
Encourage contactless payment
Contactless payment was strongly encouraged during the Covid-19 pandemic. Practical and safe, this system continues to be developed for health reasons. It also costs less for your business. To use it, you can ask the customer to scan your merchant code or scan the customer’s QR code yourself.
The QR code is used to complete the information provided on a physical medium. Abandoned for a certain period, this system made a comeback during the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to use it effectively in your marketing strategy, you must first clearly define your target and your objectives. To facilitate reading, the code must include a minimum of relevant information. Once your advertising campaign is finished, it is necessary to go through the analysis of its performance to improve it if necessary.