Summer 2020


ticketing. People magazine has used QR codes to provide a series of clues for a scavenger hunt at Coachella, allowing attendees to engage with their brand while at the festival.

Engagement in Print W


hen QR codes were introduced to the general public about a decade ago, they

were primarily used to lead us to online content such as manuals or nutrition labels. They were visually unimaginative, chunky-looking, dotted squares with little indication of what you might encounter should you take the time to open your scanning app and scan the code. To add insult to injury, poor download speeds resulted in painfully slow-loading landing pages and websites on mobile devices. QR codes remained stuck inside that box for more than a decade, and the thought of a QR code holding a place as a legitimate marketing tool seemed improbable. Fast forward and today their use is growing rapidly—by marketers! According to a recent survey by Statistica, an estimated 11 million US households will scan a QR code in 2020. This is an increase from an estimated 9.76 million scans in 2018. And it is estimated that by 2022, 5.3 billion coupon codes and offers will be redeemed via QR codes. Savvy marketers seeking ways to move their audience seamlessly from offline to online know that QR codes are the proven (and trackable) gateway. They provide a unique opportunity to enhance consumer engagement beyond the traditional use in direct mail and product packaging to other mediums, including building wraps and event signage, creating a dynamic omni-channel experience. And with smartphone camera technology now having built-in QR code readers, the need for a separate QR code scanning app is a thing of the past. Snapchat, Pinterest, WeChat, Instagram, and LinkedIn have even joined the game by

adding code scanning features, with QR code use among millennials and Gen Z expected to fuel continued growth in the coming years. Not only is QR code usage growing, but because they lead users to a dedicated webpage or landing page, they can provide another valuable layer of analytics to track advertising, direct mail, catalogs, and other print-related campaigns. In short, QR codes can be a great enhancement to any printed piece and should not be overlooked.


Product packaging – Think beyond product or nutritional information and engage consumers with multiple experiences that could include a reorder page, instant coupons, recipes, or short-form video. As a way to strengthen its position in the mobile space and further engage consumers, Coke launched a campaign featuring a dynamic QR code on each can. Each scan directed consumers to a unique video, encouraging them to scan multiple times.

Posters and banners – Don’t just ask potential customers to “Learn More”—offer them a preview of your product. Send them on a virtual tour of your store, restaurant, or manufacturing facility. Don’t forget the importance of video here as well. Marvel Studios promoted Avengers: Endgame on movie posters using a QR code that linked to a short trailer for the film.

Events – We already know how handy QR codes are for handling registrations and check- ins, but they can also be used to preview an event or offer a discount on registration or

Coupons – Through direct mail and print advertising, coupons can be made available and redeemed by QR code. Starbucks used a QR code to link to a digital coupon in a recent print campaign. Including coupons turns your promotional piece or direct mail into a trackable digital opportunity.

Designing a QR code game – Marketers can introduce hyper-casual “Scan and Win” games to engage passers-by, shoppers, or event attendees using QR codes that lead to lucrative offers such as discounts, freebies, or exclusive passes, thus increasing conversion rates.

Experiential marketing – Create a unique experience for your consumer. Reebok used QR codes to send athletes to custom-curated Spotify playlists based on the particular sport they participated in.

Boring to brilliant – The Sukiennice Museum in Poland added a whole new dimension to their paintings by having reenactors tell the “Secrets Behind the Paintings.” When visitors scanned each painting’s QR code, a video


Have a LinkedIn Profile? Meet Your Personal LI QR Code!

 Open the LinkedIn app on your mobile device.

 Tap the QR code in the search bar at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.

 Choose Scan to scan a code or My Code to view, share, or save your personal LinkedIn QR code to your photo gallery for future use.

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