Examples of the best (and worst) QR code marketing techniques

Scanning QR codes
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Scanning QR code

QR codes have been continuing a trend of positive hype for more than a year now and are now appearing on more ads, products, and other locations than ever before.

Though many have predicted that the increased use of these codes will mean that there will soon be a decline in the number of first time users, this is far from the case. In fact, the opposite is true. As the number of individuals who own smartphones continues to rise, so does the number of first time QR code users.

It is not that the number of people scanning the barcodes is not continuing to rise, however, what has happened is that the hype has caused mobile marketers to set their expectations too high, and they are not yet being met. This means that negative press is likely getting started around the technology, and the interest in it from the media may go through a period of fading.

The trick to making sure that QR codes lead to a successful mobile marketing campaign isn’t necessarily dependent on the size of the market right now as much as it requires the codes to be applied properly to encourage those who would scan them to do so.

Among the most popular codes to be scanned and used are those that will provide a free sample, exclusive content, and coupons for deep discounts. The consumer has to see value in order to make the effort to scan the barcode.

Consider the following examples of bad and good uses of QR codes to make sure that your campaigns are drawn to use them.

Bad examples:

• Placing QR codes on roadside billboards that can be accessed only by moving vehicles
• Posting them on the back of moving vehicles so that only drivers behind them can scan them
• Barcodes on banners pulled by airplanes
• Those displayed on subway train tracks

Good examples:

• Coupons for deals at restaurants or for entertainment
• Free game downloads with prizes
• Exclusive content in the form of product descriptions or videos

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