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MAKING YOUR MARK WITH QR CODES

- By Ishika Singh and Naman Sehgal


A Quick Response (QR) code is a type of barcode that can be read easily by a digital device and which stores information as a series of pixels in a square-shaped grid. Developed in 1994 by a Japanese engineer to track components in car factories, they have evolved into a highly effective marketing tool.


Only a few people used this technology when it was first introduced. Marketers predicted that the QR code trend would not last long due to the small number of use cases. They have obvious advantages: QR codes are inexpensive to create, they save customers time, and businesses can keep track of their popularity. Yet these benefits were not completely sufficient to encourage people to adopt a new behavior.


However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made QR codes the focal point of public discourse.


The following chart shows how the use of QR codes finally reached the anticipated level after so many years of being.



THE CASE OF BAJAJ AUTO


A campaign was started by Bajaj Auto in which a brief video advertisement containing a QR code was broadcast on television. A longer piece of communication marketing the same product was made possible by the QR code.


While everyone keeps complaining about how consumers dislike advertising, this campaign shows that ads can be effective if the correct components are included. When the campaign went live, it received 2,000 scans in 24 hours.


What Bajaj Auto had going for them was that they correctly predicted that people are becoming increasingly digitally savvy. They got people to scan a code to view a slightly longer piece of their communication.



MORE EXAMPLES WHERE THE USE OF QR IS FOUND DAILY


Restaurants are using them as an easy way to create contactless menus at a time when we were all afraid to get close to one another.


Adidas attached a QR code to the tongue of the sneakers when it introduced the new Pulseboost HD line. When users scan the code, they are directed to a Spotify playlist with music based on their current location. Adidas collaborated with Spotify to create playlists for a variety of major cities, and the partnership has since expanded to include QR codes on t-shirts and hoodies. The variety of playlists is also expanding.



QR codes make it simple to assess the effectiveness of a campaign or a specific ad, such as a magazine ad. They can also assist you in gathering first-party data, which is critical as marketing behemoths such as Google shift away from third-party data.


QR code is also used as a medium of confirming a product’s originality. When you scan a code it will redirect you towards the desired site and will assure you that the product is original.


PROS & CONS OF QR CODE MARKETING


The advantages of QR Code Marketing are quite evident. This is one of the fastest ways of marketing. One just needs to take their camera out and scan the code and they are directed to the site the creator wants them to be at. Barcodes are black and white and are not very appealing to the eye. Contrarily, QR Codes may be altered by the addition of colors and logos. QR Codes allow collection of data and quantifying the effect of a campaign. All of this information is useful for evaluating the success of your current campaign and planning for future ones. It contributes to collecting 1st party data which is essential as most of the marketing giants move away from 3rd party data. One can make use of QR Codes to put forward tutorials and info-graphics. A QR code may be used to sign up participants for an event.



Every coin has two sides, and there are certain drawbacks to using QR codes as a marketing tool. Most people are skeptical about the use of QR codes. It has a connection to the lack of digital literacy among people. It is not true that scanning a QR code is always successful. It is not convenient at all times, even for digitally advanced customers. Also, QR codes have security risks as they can be easily replicated and used by hackers to retrieve customer data


FUTURE OF QR CODE MARKETING


There have been QR codes for a very long time. However, it took until the pandemic era to gain the necessary traction with customers. Marketers worldwide are now swarming in to seize the opportunity and build strong relationships with end consumers. QR codes promote customer contact and enhancement through commonly used digital devices like smartphones. QR codes are an easy and efficient way of advertising your company.



A straightforward yet effective approach of marketing your business is by using QR codes. Although it took them a while to break out into the public eye, they are now an integral aspect of marketing and technology. Not entirely inevitable, as it took a pandemic for many people to actually connect with them, QR codes have nonetheless become a standard in efficient corporate operations, going hand in hand with every company's main objective: luring in new clients.

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