Visual QR Codes – A Game Changing Patent

As the world moves into the mobile realm, the ability to reach an astonishing number of users and potential customers has become possible.

Think about this for a second, a Superbowl commercial had a potential reach of only 108 million Americans. While the commercials were great entertainment, they were a one way marketing campaign without any potential to produce an actual sale and cost USD $3 million dollars for a thirty second spot.
QR Codes on the other hand, have a potential reach of over a billion people
(anyone who owns a smartphone), offer actual engagement with the potential to make a sale and they come with a minimal price tag if not free.
Perhaps it’s the minimal price that is to blame for the ‘it doesn’t cost us anything so why not’ kind of attitude that often results in some really awkward QR Code campaigns and many missed golden marketing opportunities.

Yes, you should use a QR Code but do it right

Deciphering the code

So you decided you want to use a QR Code to engage endless amounts of potential users and customers? Go for it, but do it right!
Here are a couple of tips to make sure your QR Code campaign gets the attention you deserve.

Go mobile

Remember, a QR Code is a bridge that leads people from an offline ad to an online mobile experience. If your website or QR Code scanning destination is not mobile enabled, people will not be able to interact, and chances are they will be left with a feeling of frustration as they were expecting a fun, interactive and valuable experience and ended wasting their time.
Imagine reading this post in a font that looks like this. That is what websites that are not mobile enabled look like on a mobile device, would you bother?

Give them a reason to scan

Now that we understand that QR Codes are all about mobile engagement it should also be clear that people will be scanning on the go. What this means is, you have to give them a good reason to stop their day and scan a QR Code.
Placing a random black and white code on the corner of an ad, billboard or even in your store will probably not do the job.
Here is a great example of a successful QR Code campaign run by Gillete:
Gillette QR code campaign with Kate Upton

As you can imagine, the Kate Upton QR Code was scanned over and over and yes you guessed it, mostly by men.
Now that you went mobile and you got their attention, what are you offering them?
An important thing to remember when using QR Codes is, it’s not about getting people to scan, it’s about offering them an interactive mobile experience and real value.

Practical and Effective QR Code marketing Campaign Ideas

The possibilities of using QR Code to boost your business are endless.

QR Code Discounts

In-store Visual QR Code promotions can be used much in the same way as coupons to offer daily specials, for instance. Unlike coupons that cannot be changed once printed, QR Codes can be altered daily for new deals and specials. I would like to see the person who enters your business and opts not to scan a QR Code for an additional discount.

Loyalty Programs

Every purchase should be followed by a customer’s scan that would automatically enter them into a VIP Frequent Buyer Program. Every time a customer returns and scans, special deals, discounts and awards can be offered to them depending on their scan and purchase history

Customer Engagement

Everyone is on social media and every one of your customers is willing and able to offer you free advertising to their social community.
Place social visual QR Codes in your store and allow customers to easily and quickly share their experience with their friends and contacts.

Social media visual QR codes

Visual QR Code sweepstakes

When it comes to customer satisfaction and effective marketing, there is nothing more satisfying for your customers than an instant reward. Place one of these Visual QR Codes at the check out counter and offer an additional discount with a catch. One in every 1,000 scans will receive a 100% discount on their purchase.
Sweepstakes visual QR code
Visual QR Code powered by Visualead
What other QR Code creative campaigns have you seen?

Ari Fuld (@arifuld) is a social media and content professional and founder of the popular global mobile technology blog called, He also is the Community and Content Manager at, where they are redefining QR Code mobile engagement.

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