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How to use FREE QR Codes in Marketing Communications

Updated on November 26, 2015
Sample QR Code
Sample QR Code

What are QR codes?

As a Marketing Manager for a UK company, I have been using QR codes to communicate to end-users. The uses for QR codes below is not exhaustive, but will give you a flavour of their possibilities.

QR (Quick Response) codes are becoming more and more popular in everyday use. They are appearing in newspaper adverts, on billboards and even on emails.

So what's the big deal?

A QR code allows the end-user to gain information at the point of sale. By simply scanning the code on a mobile phone using a QR reader , the end-user can be directed to a youTube video clip or a web page. Imagine that you are in a store and you are not sure what the main features and benefits a product can bring you. By scanning the QR code, and watching or reading further information will allow you to make an informed choice whilst you are still in-store.

How do you use them?

So how do you use them in your marketing communications?

The first step is to use a free QR code generator. I use Google's version and it is free! Not only is there no cost, but Google Analytics will tell you when someone has scanned the code. Fantastic, now I know how many people have looked at my advert.

Like a barcode, a QR code is required for each product. The QR code can only be directed to one portal, so you have to choose where you would like to direct your end-user; webpage, youTube video clip or text file etc.

Placing a QR code in an advert is the most common application, but they can be placed in-store as well. Point of Sale graphics are the next most common application. If there is not TV or a digital advert of a product being demonstrated, then a QR code on a POS header can direct the end-user to a web page or youTube video.

Some companies have now placed a QR code on their product packaging. There is only so much technical and graphical information that can be placed on a product, but a QR code can replicate this in a smaller amount of space. The minimum graphical area for a QR code is 1/2" x 1/2", so this size allows for placement on a considerable amount of products.

Many uses

QR codes can also be used as a promotional tool. Imagine running a competition where the entrant can only participate by scanning a QR code on a product. Directions on 'How to enter' will be revealed from the QR code. This is a much more exciting way to enter a competition compared to a simple prize draw entry.

Registering an electrical product for a guarantee using a Guarantee Card can also benefit from a QR code. The QR scan can take the end user directly to a website registration form to make data entry much easier than hand writing your details and hoping that the person entering your data can read your writing!

The number of applications for a QR code are expanding and will become more and more visible in the years to come. If you don't know what they look like and how to use them, you will soon!


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