QR codes - The new normal

Imagine the scene, you are in a meeting, the time is 2019 and someone round the table suggests including a QR code. The room goes silent, eye rolls, people advise you QR codes are old skool and no one uses them. We've all been there…. 

Roll on 18 months and QR codes are now everywhere. Checking into places, seeing menus at a restaurant, the list goes on. A contactless way for the user to go from offline to online easily, but should these be used? 

Invented two decades ago, QR codes never became the digital contactless revolution that they had hoped they would be. However, in 2017, Apple changed the systems fortune by allowing QR codes to be scanned directly through the camera app. Android soon followed suit so now, without the need for an additional App, most modern devices allow QR reading as standard. And with this current pandemic, contactless technology has never been in more demand. 

Due to their versatility, people can quickly scan to see a company's website, a Google map location, check in to a venue, see reviews, see social media accounts or send a message or email. 

Historically, black and white QR codes appeared flat and off brand in marketing collateral, but with more modern sophisticated code generators, marketers can design their code to remain on brand. For companies that produce a lot of offline and event material, QR codes can be a perfect way to bridge the gap between offline to online. So, with an increase in popularity - should marketers be using a code on all material? Don't jump on a marketing trend, think about whether you are adding value to your customers. If the use of codes is irrelevant, don't use it. But if you are allowing a quick, convenient way to allow your customer to get online, think about including a code. Quick, easy and now familiar to most consumers, QR codes could be a wonderful marketing addition to suggest in a meeting. No more eye rolls, no more silence, just results.