While QR codes had a bit of a false start back in the day, most modern phones now have the capability to read them without needing you to take steps to download software.

Following their huge resurgence during COVID to enable check-ins, display menus and more, most consumers are now feeling pretty familiar with using these little barcodes (and social and EDM platforms making them easier to integrate into your activities)—so how can you make the most of QR codes for marketing?

Apply them in the right places

Where you place your QR code will, firstly, depend on what you’re using it to drive. Growing your database? Put it on tables to secure engaged subscribers who already dine in your venue. Growing social? Maybe on the back of the bathroom door to capitalise on a moment of downtime…

For volume objectives, consider applying your QR codes to high traffic spots like menus and table talkers, or even outside your venue so anyone can engage. If you do buy physical ad space in things like magazines or bus stops, QR codes are a great way to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds, and add value to your ad creative—just remember to tell people what they’re “clicking on” by engaging with your code (or, maybe, make the surprise part of the messaging…). 

You could even get them done up as part of a sticker to add to takeaway packaging, driving people to leave a Google review if they enjoy their food—basically, just make sure that the placement, objective, and destination of your QR codes are all working together!

Use them at different scales

While we’ve mostly seen QR codes as small elements on the bottom of a menu or similar, try experimenting with them as part of larger collateral to grab attention and drive engagement.

A large-scale external poster could be used for lead generation, grabbing the attention of passersby, or you could use large posters to drive ticket sales/registrations to upcoming events. Remember, though, that people will need enough room and clearance to be able to snap the code.

You still need to offer value

While they’ve only really taken off lately, it’s important not to apply QR codes in a “gimmicky” way. Like we wrote about in this blog, you’ll usually need to offer something in exchange for people to take valuable actions. Lately, we’ve been working with adding QR codes to bottle shop catalogues to drive database growth, incentivised by tickets to State of Origin (cohesive placement, objective, and destination in action!). 

Remember that information/education counts as giving something, so a good starting point (if you’re working with tighter margins) could be to drive traffic to landing pages on your site, and then let the copy on those pages do the heavy lifting. Maybe you want to educate your diners on where the food they’re enjoying came from? Link the menu up to a short video/post telling them more about the producer.

To drive lead generation, you could set up a form specific to the QR code, with the “thank you” page following completion displaying a discount/voucher value that new subscribers can claim at the bar—a perfect closed loop of offering an immediate reward for a guaranteed engaged new subscriber. 

Whether you make QR codes a long-standing part of your marketing strategy, or just experiment to see if they can offer value to your collateral, it’s safe to say that QR codes are here to stay this time around! If you’re interested in exploring QR codes in your business, get in touch on hello@liquiditymarketing.com.au