Weekly Marketing CastThey seem to be everywhere—on posters, subway ads, billboards, and brochures. But what exactly is the business value of QR codes?

Similar in appearance to barcodes, QR codes (Quick Response codes) serve to refer readers to digital content on the internet. Their usage has rapidly increased with the widespread adoption of mobile devices. A February 2011 survey by MGH showed that most US smartphone users scan QR codes to get a coupon, discount, or deal.

So in what ways can QR codes impact your business? This is the question we seek to answer in this episode of the Weekly Marketing Cast.

Bridge Offline and Online Marketing

QR codes present a great opportunity to bridge your offline marketing efforts with the online presence of your company, says David Meerman Scott. In this respect, they are similar to the functions of Meetup and Foursquare, which also aim to strengthen the connection between offline and online marketing.

Event Marketing & QR Codes

Event marketing has proven to be one of the main uses of QR codes. For instance, you can reference something in your presentation slides and send traffic to a specific page. Or you can add QR codes to other event materials, such as the event's agenda, handouts, and posters.

Where online could you be referring people to? Here are a few options:

  • Encourage people to enter a sweepstake or participate in a contest.
  • Offer people to learn more about your products or services.
  • Invite people to opt in to your email database.
  • Connect people with your social media presence.

Guess what? According to MGH’s survey, these are already activities many mobile users are engaged in. You can easily build a QR code using a site like GenerateQR or Kaywa.

New Offline Measurement Opportunities

One of the most valuable features of QR codes is that they present a new opportunity for measuring your offline marketing efforts. Check out what the immediate results of your public speaking are. Compare the response to your different traditional marketing programs, and make adjustments accordingly.

Anytime you drive people to your online presence, they get one step closer to doing business with you. So go ahead and experiment with QR codes today!


Originally published Oct 10, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017


Brand Experience