WHY USE QR CODES?
QR “Quick Response” codes are a specific matrix bar code or two-dimensional code that is read by smartphones. In 2011, we first saw QR codes take off as a way to bridge the gap between traditional media and digital media. As smartphone adoption continues to increase, the more we will see mobile applications further change digital content consumption. No longer is digital content being viewed from desktops at home or work. Now, people carry instant access to any content they wish in their back pockets. Mobile applications are changing how people access content and where they consume it. The question now is whether or not these digital consumers can still be reached through print media.
This is where digital and print integration comes in. As more brands make the grand jump to directing marketing campaigns solely on digital platforms, the more consumers are looking for transparency and accountability in these companies. Packaging, print advertisements, and direct mail are all tangible forms of communication that provide the transparency that many are looking for. These traditional media forms, with the addition of a QR code, have the ability to direct consumers to the appropriate content they are looking for online.
In comScore’s newest study, “U.S. Digital Future in Focus 2012,” when smartphone users scan QR codes into their phones, 73% did so to find product information, 32% to receive a coupon or offer, and 25% did so to find event information. To truly engage customers, a company needs to provide a reason for them to do more research or follow their call of action. But beware: much like the concept of couponing, not everyone who has scissors cuts coupons. Just because they have the means to scan your QR doesn’t mean they will do it.
A great reason to include QR codes in your next print campaign is that it provides a means of measuring your ROI. For those consumers that do decide to scan the QR code on the direct mail piece you sent or the flier posted in your storefront, their interest can be tracked by being directed to the URL that is linked to the code. Here you can measure how many people scanned the code, when they scanned it, what device they scanned it with, and through which promotion you have used to get them to your website. Deciding to launch a campaign takes time and money, so to be able to measure your print ROI is a huge benefit to your company.