Over the years, marketing has seen its fair share of trends. Desktop publishing and the personal computer exploded in popularity in the 1980s. We found the internet in the 1990s. Then, in the 2000s, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter ushered in a new era of social media dominance. However, from big data and customer empowerment to content and mobile marketing, the past decade has seen a plethora of marketing stalwarts.
A strange-looking resource known as the QR code is at the centre of it all (sometimes literally). For the past ten years, these squiggly boxes have been aiming to simplify consumer engagement and improve marketing results on and off. QR codes are revolutionising the way we do business in today’s world. They first failed because no one (including marketers) knew what to do with them. They’re back now, and they’re one of marketing’s most valuable assets.
Let’s take a look at how QR codes have grown since their inception. We’ll look at some of the most cutting-edge techniques and applications now in use.
QR Codes: A Brief History
In 1994, Quick Response codes (often known as QR codes) were created. They were created for Japan’s automotive industry by Masahiro Hara. The black and white pieces of the Go board influenced his first model (a traditional Chinese game). Their goal was to use high-speed component scanning to track vehicles during the production process. The codes were so effective that they made their way into the production, shipping, and transaction stages of each car’s creation. As word spread, other companies (particularly the food and pharmaceutical industries) discovered that QR codes might be used for tracking as well.
QR codes have evolved throughout time and are now utilised on a much greater scale. They’re being used as mobile marketing assets on everything from print ads to in-store retail displays to product packaging, restaurant menus, gyms, and hiking trails, to mention a few options.
What Are QR Codes and How Do They Work?
You might be curious as to how these strange-looking two-dimensional scannable graphics function. You know you’ll scan them, but what will you do after that? They’re similar to barcodes, but more abstract. Your smartphone analyses the pixelated image and converts the data into something understandable. Let’s have a look at it in more detail.
Although the human eye sees a squiggly image, the current QR code is made up of seven separate pieces. Each component has a distinct purpose in transmitting data via the code.
Putting detecting markers in place. These imprints make it easy to recognise that this is a scannable code and illustrate which way it’s printed.
Markings for alignment. These aid in the alignment of codes on curved surfaces.
Patterns of timing. The data grid can be configured with the help of black and white modules.
Information about the version. There are a total of 40 different variants, however seven are more popular than the others. The size is mostly determined by the quantity of data contained within the code.
Information about how to format This offers information on error tolerance, making it easy to search the code.
Keys for data and error correction All of the critical data is stored here, along with the error correcting blocks.
This is a quiet zone. For structure and comprehension, this is essentially white space.
There are two types of QR codes as well.
Static data is data that can’t be changed after it’s been created.
Dynamic: The original code may be updated, edited, and changed, which is ideal for marketers.
As a result, when customers scan your QR codes, they will be able to:
- Find out about a product or service.
- Send you an email or a text message
- Click on the link to your website.
- Take a look at a social media account.
- Get your app now.
These are just a few of the many ways consumers may benefit from QR codes. Let’s take a look at a few different industries to see how QR codes might help with mobile marketing for their products and services.
The Real Estate Industry’s QR Code Marketing
QR codes have improved the way you communicate and work with your consumers, both prospective and existing, as a real estate marketer. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Place QR codes on all of your mobile marketing materials, as well as at each of your properties. RE/MAX began using dynamic QR codes on its agent’s business cards, property signage, billboard commercials, and print advertisements. When someone scans the code, it takes them to a mobile-friendly landing page with information about the agent, agent listings, events, and more. The codes, in turn, convey information about the person’s location, scan date, and time.
Increase the number of people who know about you on social media. Homeowners who used Zillow’s service were able to design bespoke QR codes to share with potential purchasers. The real estate QR codes were then turned into social media codes that drove readers to a specific social account to follow or like.
Use a QR code in conjunction with your CRM software to notify clients about homes for sale in their area. This was done by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, who created unique pages for each of their target groups.