Considering the digital world we’ve come to know and love (more or less!), QR codes have had a relatively slow start since their invention in 1994. Pre-pandemic, it felt like you would only see these pixelated boxes in specific and niche spaces. Whether they appeared on products to redirect you to other information about the manufacturer or in certain ad campaigns, QR codes were few and far between; never really commonplace.
Through all the upheaval of last year, it felt like some of the problems that arose already had a solution: QR codes. COVID made people reconsider a lot, including how many surfaces are communally touched by so many people, like, all the time. Now, many restaurants have opted for small cards with QR codes over larger, hard copy menus. If more businesses adopt this trend going forward, not only is the number of shared surfaces reduced, but this also creates a lot less waste. For marketers, this is great news- the growing popularity of QR codes outside of the marketing world can only improve their usage within our space.
As an added benefit, you no longer have to download a special app to scan QR codes. As long as you have a smartphone, you’re golden! Simply open up your phone’s camera and hover the device over a QR code. When the link appears at the top of your screen, click it and be wowed by today’s tech!
QR codes couldn’t be easier when it comes to sharing information with a desired audience, which is great news for marketers. Aside from being a great way to get content to a specific audience, the capabilities of QR codes extend as far as the creativity of the marketers that use them. They can be used to direct clients from a product or newsletter to their website or app, among unlimited other ideas one might have. As cliché as it sounds, the possibilities really are endless (cue the inspirational music!)
One industry that has been impacted by the safety precautions put in place as a result of the pandemic is the cosmetics industry. As many makeup-wearers know, a lot of purchases rely upon swatching and testing products. In an attempt to reduce shared surfaces, most tester products have closed up their caps. But L’Oreal Paris realized the importance of both testing products and keeping consumers safe and created a QR code that allows buyers to virtually try on products. While this doesn’t replace actually testing a product, it gives consumers some semblance of confidence in their purchase. Gold star for L’Oreal!
How to jump on the QR code bandwagon
So, you know how you want to use a QR code to provide a better experience for your audience? The big question is, how the heck do you make them? ODEA-ites to the rescue! Google Chrome can generate a QR code for any site- we made a Tech Tip Thursday video that shows you exactly how to do so!
Because they have been able to solve issues many businesses have faced as a result of the pandemic, the question now is, what’s next? How can we use this valuable tool to improve what has been the status quo for so long? Information is already more accessible than it has ever been, and QR codes offer an even more streamlined content delivery method.