QR codes (abbreviated from Quick Response codes) are a marketing tool that has been around since 1997, basically it’s a specific matrix bar code (or two-dimensional code) that is machine readable and designed to be read by smartphones.

Since advertising and sales people have found this new tool they have been using it like there’s no tomorrow. “Is this a flat surface with good public exposure? Then let’s put a QR code in it redirecting to our boring website”! I’m sure people will be thrilled to find your website after spending time and energy taking their mobiles of the case, taking a picture and then waiting for something amazing. Yeah… that will definitely work… NOT!


QR code to the Social Media Examiner home page

QR codes are like every other communication tool that uninformed people with power get their hands on, their effect is basically the same as shouting to a deaf person. None.

When QR codes are correctly used they can definitely help spice up your promotion campaign and they can be very effective methods to integrate your communication channels. For example, instead of redirecting to your site, the QR code can contain a phrase which offers a significant product discount to whoever posts it on your brand’s Facebook page. They not only have liked your Facebook page but there is also a huge possibility for them to buy your product.

QR are codes are not hard to crack, and just by following these 5 simple rules you will put your money, time and QR code in a very good use.

Be Everywhere

Incorporate your mobile bar codes into all digital and traditional media so the consumer has 360-degree exposure to the mobile marketing campaign. This will also ensure that consumer experience, dialogue and interactivity are at the heart of the campaign.

Drive Value and Make It Easy

Giveaways, discounts, free tickets and exclusive access will compel consumers to interact with and scan your code. Scanning a barcode should provide the consumer with a brand experience that is exclusive, dynamic and interactive.

Take into account where a mobile bar code is located on the ad. Consumers must be able to find it easily and scan it quickly. For outdoor ads, place the code at eye or arm-level. In a print ad, the bar code should not fall over a fold as this will hamper scanning. Be sure to leave some white space around the mobile bar code, and use a minimum of 1 x 1-inch print specification. For TV or cinema, the code should to remain onscreen long enough for the viewer to launch the scanning application and scan the code.

QR_code_Naperville_LibraryKeep It Simple

Branded or custom QR codes are certainly getting some buzz, but it’s also important to create a code everyone can recognize. Producing your code in simple black and white checkered format will increase the number of phones and code readers that can scan it. Also, ensure you use global, open standards (i.e. Datamatrix) to maximize universal customer reach and impact.

Build Costumer Relation

Remember that the consumer who has just scanned your code is on the move. He or she will be viewing the brand content on a mobile screen and, therefore, expects instant results. Make sure the barcode links through to a mobile-enabled site rather than a PC-designed site. Remember that “dead links” (codes that go nowhere or deliver the wrong information) are the equivalent of a slammed door — the consumer will not try again. It’s important, especially because the consumers that scan codes are likely tech-savvy and vocal — the kind of consumers you want on your side.

Evaluate Your Campaign

Boost sales, increase customer engagement, build brand loyalty, educate your audience. Whatever the campaign objective, be sure to define its goals before integrating a mobile barcode. Consider monitoring the campaign via a barcode management platform like Delivr. Your business will be able to leverage the provider’s expertise, better assess your campaign effectiveness and evaluate its real-time success through analytics.


QR code analytics by Delivr

Just for you to see how these little barcodes can work, I’ll leave you with a brilliant example of the British Betfair community. In order to raise awareness for the beach volleyball modality for the London Olympic Games, Betfair used QR codes on the back of the bikinis of the British female duo Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin.

We want to guarantee that this promotional campaign will be seen and remembered by the largest possible number of people — Andy Lulham, Head of UK Sports & Marketing PR.


Photos from Social Media Examiner.