The Resurgence of QR Codes in Marketing

QR codes have become an increasingly ubiquitous part of modern life, with their use having skyrocketed over the past few years at a variety of day-to-day destinations. Although they were originally invented over 25 years ago, it wasn’t until the release of iOS 11 in September 2017 that QR codes really took off. Prior to this, they had been seen as cumbersome and somewhat outdated technology, requiring a third-party app to use effectively. However, with the introduction of native QR code support in iOS, QR codes have been made far more accessible and user-friendly.

Today, we see them used everywhere from restaurant menus to small businesses, and their popularity shows no signs of stopping. As technology continues to evolve and become ever more integrated into our lives, it seems likely that QR codes will only become even more important in the years to come.

What Are QR Codes?

A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response) is a cluster of black and white pixels that work together to create instructions to take the user to a particular website. Similar to a bar code, a QR code is a scannable code that’s readable by devices such as a smartphone.

With QR codes, users simply open their camera app, point their phone in the direction of the code, and within a few seconds they are redirected to wherever the code is meant to take them.

There are two types of QR codes: Dynamic and Static. Static QR codes were the first to come out but are quickly being replaced by Dynamic QR codes.

Static QR Codes

Static QR codes cannot be changed after they are created. The only way to change the link on the QR code is to generate a new one, so they typically are used on things that only need to be scanned once.

The information is fixed and is embedded into the code itself and because the pattern is less dense than Dynamic QR codes, they typically take longer to scan. They are linked directly to your site so there is no way to track analytics.

Dynamic QR Codes 

Dynamic QR codes are becoming more popular for a few different reasons. Since the information is stored on a third-party site, like QR Code Monkey, they are not linked directly to your website, they are easily changeable and can be edited even after printing. Another huge benefit is they offer the ability to track the performance of your QR code.

How Are QR Codes Used in Marketing?

As marketing professionals, it seems like everywhere we look there is a new way to advertise brands to audiences. QR codes link directly to the exact page you want to take your audience. Here are some common places you can link QR codes to:

  • Directly to your website or app
  • Social Media
  • Rewards Systems
  • Coupons
  • Surveys or Reviews

There are hundreds of different creative places to utilize QR codes including on direct mail pieces, jumbotrons, commercials, posters on a wall or even drones in the sky.

CyGames and Biibilli flew drones over Shanghai in synchronization to form a QR code linking people to directly download their new game. This was a huge success and had many downloads.

5 Tips on How to Use QR Codes Correctly

  1. Ensure your website landing page can handle traffic and is optimized for mobile.
  2. Have a call-to-action and make sure the landing page will convert.
  3. Brand your QR code. Dynamic QR codes are customizable.
  4. Don’t put them next to other codes and double-check they are the right size and on the right material, so they actually scan.
  5. TEST them and measure their performance.

Marketing is being revolutionized every day with new technologies. QR code are not only an innovative way to entice people to scan and see what lies behind the black and white square, but it also allows your consumers to take your ad with them.

It’s important to stay up to date when creating a campaign for your brand. Appleton is an award-winning, full-service Orlando advertising agency that works with local, national and international clients to deliver impressive ad campaigns, branding, print, web, public relations, social media and video services — all in-house. At Appleton, we want to learn about your business, empower your marketing team and be your creative resource. Your advertising goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-537-6352 or

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