QR codes (short for quick response codes) are a type of barcode that can be scanned by consumers who want more information about a product.
Companies can use the barcodes on marketing materials or in shop windows, as well as on employees’ business cards, to direct scanners to company social media pages or company websites.
Consumers can scan the barcode by installing a QR code reader into their smartphone, which can be widely downloaded from the internet. The codes themselves can be acquired through specialist websites.
Pensions administrator RPMI took on QR codes in order to better retain the interest of potential customers.
‘You get a finite opportunity these days to move from someone engaging with what you have to say and then acting on the back of it,’ says Jonathan Clark, the firm’s head of communications.
‘Say a sales prospect has read something in a print medium while on the move and has connected with what you’re trying to say. By the time they’ve got home, made the tea and put the kids to bed, the last thing they want to do is log on and do something with their pension; but if they’re sitting on a train or bus with a smartphone, they can access this content there and then, and make a decision.’
RPMI looks to link QR codes to videos. ‘We plan to send letters to members about a change in their pension scheme, and in it we’ll have a QR code that links to a short movie on YouTube that walks them through the change and puts a human face on the mail that comes through,’ says Clark.
Uptake has been promising; in one instance, 75 per cent of RPMI’s client base responded to print material via a QR code rather than typing the URL into their smartphone.
Domino’s Pizza first added the QR code technology in February to coincide with the launch of a new pizza, previewing the new product to its Facebook fans a week early to drive acquisition. QR codes now feature on all of Domino’s print materials including menus and press ads.
‘They can be used to share much more than just a web address, but careful consideration needs to be given to the relevance to your customers/audience,’ says Claire Nash, digital media executive at Domino’s