Why QR Codes Are the Modern Marketer’s BFF

We’re helping our clients bridge the gap between physical and digital marketing with the help of these handy little blocks of code.

What are QR codes and where did they come from?

QRs are a common, almost essential, aspect of our daily lives now. They’ve become an easy way to move through life quickly and efficiently – with just a simple scan we can pay for our morning cup of joe, browse our favorite brunch spot’s menu, or get into the concert we’ve been waiting for all year. 

But these QRs haven’t always played such an important role in our lives, despite being invented nearly 30 years ago. Their original purpose was tracking auto-parts. They were so ahead of the curve that other industries didn’t begin to adopt QR usage until the mid-2000s, coinciding with the invention of smartphones and the internet becoming more mainstream. 

However, it really wasn’t until the world was hit with a global pandemic that QRs really had their moment in the sun. The contactless, 2D codes became the perfect solution to our post-pandemic world, quickly replacing communal touchpoints like menus, payment points, and kiosks. While many rejected QRs at first, technology did what technology does and improved to the point where brands couldn’t ignore the convenience of QRs. For marketers, it created an entirely new way to reach customers in their offline environment. 

Hands holding a phone while scanning a QR code.

Create a modern, multi-touchpoint marketing campaign with QRs

It’s really no surprise that QRs have made such a strong comeback in recent years and become a marketer’s BFF. These digital gateways can take customers on a convenient journey from point A to point B without requiring human contact. They also hold the power to make that journey as trackable and customizable as you’d like, making them mutually beneficial for both brands and customers. 

According to a study done in 2019, QRs’ most common forms of use are retrieving product information (51%), followed by event information (19%), then signing up for offers (12%), and downloading apps (8%). However there is a seemingly limitless amount of ways that businesses use QRs today to increase engagement and brand awareness: linking to their website, fundraising page, event signup, or job applications are just a few examples. Incorporating them into current marketing campaigns is also a breeze – they’re free to create, take up very little space, and can be placed virtually anywhere.

We’re outlining our favorite ways to incorporate these fun and functional pieces of code to create an engaging offline-to-online experience that customers and marketers can both appreciate. 

Direct mail campaigns

Example of Swallow Hill Music and MyLifeLine.org's use of QR codes in a direct mail campaign.

We helped local music education nonprofit Swallow Hill equip their latest direct mail campaign with QR codes for an added chance for interaction. The best part? The QR code tracks each unique scan, making the campaign results more measurable.

Menus and Point of Sale (Checkout) Stations

Examples of QR codes used in menus.

QRs provided restaurants with a virtually free way to replace tangible menus that can be ever-changing, often sauce-splattered, and expensive to make. We’ve helped brands like Park Burger and Birdcall highlight their latest menu offerings via strategically placed QRs.

RSVP to Party invitations

RSVP's using QR codes.

Tangible invitations will always be timeless, but many event planners are using QRs to give them a modern update. Take a cue from Dairy Arts Center and Incorporate them into your invitation design to make things easier for guests to say “YES, I’m definitely coming!”

Review Acquisition Campaigns

Marketing campaigns using QR codes to track acquisitions.

QR codes are a stress-free way for your customers to leave you a review. YellowDog has been adding our review QRs to signage, mailers, and  thank you cards, as a simple way of saying “hey, if you like what we do, leave us a review!”

Product information and giveaways

Giveaway signup postcards using QR codes.

QRs are a great way to incentivize users to sign up for giveaways, promotions, or anything you’re looking to promote. We helped Veritas and Olio with their ski giveaway by printing their awesome posters that shared a QR.

Informational Posters

Informational posters using QR codes.

By equipping Planned Parenthood and Rescripte’s printed posters with QRs, we helped them point readers in the right direction to take action for their cause.

Recruitment Signage

Recruitment signage using QR codes.

Scan to apply! We helped Rocky Mountain Roller Derby’s and Birdcall’s recruitment submissions soar by equipping their posters with hard-to-miss QRs. 

Take A Custom Approach

Custom QR code stickers.

It’s the customization for us. For YellowDog and our QR-lovin clients, branded is the way to go. We’ve helped Birdcall and Park Burger make their QRs blend in with the rest of their branding for a cohesive offline-to-online experience. 

Lucy the Yellow Dog

Lucy the Yellow Dog

Kelsey is the newest addition to YellowDog’s marketing team. When she’s not storytelling about YellowDog and our amazing local clients, you can find her on the ski lifts in the winter and taking in shows at Red Rocks in the summer.
Better business cards, designed and printed by YellowDog
Matt Hunter

Better business cards

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