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How to Use QR Codes for Marketing

… the right way.

I know what you are thinking…another blog about those QR codes. Haven’t we been saturated enough by these things? Well, yes. But, they are the “new and happening thing” right now, so we must follow suit and use them!


QR Codes are becoming quite popular. Many companies are eager to try out this hot new marketing tactic, but how do you use it properly? With as tech-saavy as consumers are, it’s not enough to just direct them to your home page.

The thing is, there is a right way and a wrong way of using QR codes in your marketing.

It’s not good enough to just slap a cool looking 2D barcode on your marketing materials and be done with it. They have to offer something to the consumer. We, as a society, have become so use to instant gratification that if a consumer scans your QR code, and it goes nowhere, or delivers the wrong information, the consumer will not give it another chance.

It is also disconcerting to a consumer to simply be taken to a website, or to just view a TV advertisement. It’s best to provide some sort of offer, such as a discount, free tickets, exclusive access, or a chance to win something. Another popular offer is the chance to learn something more about a product or service.

So, how do you use QR codes in marketing for your business? Here are a few tips to a successful use of QR codes in marketing, and some things to be careful of:

  • Incorporate them everywhere. On business cards, labeling, catalogs, advertisements, storefront displays, laptop stickers, and even on T-shirts!
  • Offer value for the consumer. The QR code should lead them back to a coupon, special discount, educational information on the product or service, or a chance to win something.
  • Keep it recognizable. It’s ok to get a little creative, but the codes need to be recognized as a traditional QR code so the consumer knows what to do with it.
  • Make it easy. Make sure the barcode links through to a mobile-enabled site.
  • Test, test, test! Be sure the code works. Test with multiple smart phones and scanning devices before launching.

Here are some examples of creative uses of QR codes:

  • On realtor signs, the QR code links to a virtual tour of the house.
  • On food packages, it pulls up recipes that include that ingredient.
  • On movie posters, it shows the upcoming movie times.
  • On concert tickets, the QR code goes to a website where the performing band’s music can be downloaded.
  • In DIY or craft stores, it links to a video on how to do that project.

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Nicole Holcomb

Product Manager at System ID
Nicole Holcomb literally grew up around labels and printing. Putting that lifetime of knowledge to good use, Nicole helps customers solve the labeling needs of virtually any application in her role as Product Manager for Labels & Supplies at System ID. This creative problem solver unleashes her artistic side by creating customized clipboards and frames for her small craft business (while also daydreaming about being British, an obsession she’s had since her youth!).