QR Code Marketing: A Revitalized Art
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May 11, 2022

QR codes – These strange, pixelated scan images, have been around since 1994 when a company named Denso Wave used them as a way to track their manufacturing process. Companies later jumped on the bandwagon, with no signs of success, and no-one had tapped into the potential of QR Codes. This was mostly due to the lack of access to high-speed internet.

But now, with the rise of the coronavirus pandemic and the presence of high-speed internet at all times, QR Code Marketing has seen a massive comeback.

In fact, since the Covid pandemic, QR code usage has increased substantially as a way for companies to share information in a safe and hygienic way. Use QR Codes in your marketing campaign as a call-to-action on your website, to create personalized landing pages, and to enhance your social/search ads.

QR codes, once perceived as a dying fad, are now regaining immense traction.

How to Utilize QR Codes in Marketing

QR Codes as a Call-to-Action.

Do you want people to visit your website? Give you a follow on Instagram? Do you want them to leave a review or participate in a giveaway? All this can be done using QR codes. Instead of having a still image of the products/services you’re selling, you can engage and add value with a QR code that allows visitors to find out more about your brand. Do not however just slap on a QR code without finding a way to integrate into your strategy or make it stand out.

Your website’s CTAs are one of its most important elements. Without CTAs your website is useless. So, when designing your call-to-action, make it stand out from the rest of the website, either by making it a different color, font, or by outlining it in an eye-grabbing way. This is because you want visitors to click on it. The same thing applies to QR codes. You cannot just add an unthought square code and expect people to take time out of their day to scan it. Put some thought into it, make it more eye-catching and pleasing.

One example that is always on my mind is the SALE sign on Zara’s windows. Not only is it eye-grabbing because of the red color and the way they embedded it into the word, you know exactly where it is going to lead you. Make it attractive for others to scan, but also make sure that visitors know what they are getting out of scanning it. Will they be led to a website, to add their feedback, or to an Instagram profile? There are many call-to-actions that can be done through QR codes.

QR Code Marketing and Personalization

QR codes allow you to personalize content based on several variables like location, time-of-day, and previous activity, giving QR Code Marketing a lot of versatility.  

Since people are different and consume content differently, personalizing content according to their needs is a way to win them over. A baby boomer will consume content differently than a Gen-Z. This also applies to someone coming from a different country or background. Personalize your pages to each and every user.

But, that sounds kind of impossible, right? This is where QR codes takes place.

Due to Covid-19, most if not all restaurants have adapted the use of digital menus accessed through QR codes as a measurement of safety. With that being said, one way restaurants are using personalization in their QR codes is by yielding the breakfast menu when the customer visits in the morning, yielding the lunch menu in the afternoon, and so on. This is an added benefit that QR codes give: you can personalize content seamlessly without having to intervene.

Let’s take another example: An individual living in the Middle East scans a QR code. It is more logical for the QR code to direct the user to a more geographically tailored landing page. Why? Simply because there is a higher chance of the user to buy when they feel emotionally content with the advertisement. Also, if the customer scanning the QR code has previously bought from the brand in the past few months, they may get a different page than someone who has never purchased before. Sounds like a lead-grabbing machine to me!

In addition, not only can you send the user to personalized landing pages, but you can also target them with personalized advertisements. When a person scans a certain QR code, it will take note of the device being utilized.

Why is this important?

So, let’s say a certain individual scans a QR code for Vaseline. Vaseline can use advertisements to target their device once they use it to log into Facebook, Instagram, or Google. This results in more relevant and targeted ads, with an increased chance of customers purchasing.

Win-win, if you ask me.

Two QR Code Marketing Campaigns

L’Oreal’s New York Fashion Week Campaign

L’Oreal placed a QR code in New York City Taxi during New York Fashion Week. This allowed people to browse and shop their products while riding a taxi. “This five-day QR Code campaign had a 7% conversion rate and increased L’Oreal app downloads by 80%.”

Emart’s Lunchtime Rush

The Korean retailer Emart realized that it had low sales between 12 pm -1 pm every day. So, to increase sales the retailer launched a QR code marketing campaign with a customized QR code at different locations. The codes themselves could only be scanned during lunch hours, and gave customers various offers and coupon codes. “The campaign increased sales by 25% during lunch hours. And the number of customers increased by 58%.


QR codes are easy to alter, and and offer a convenient way of providing visitors with information relevant to them.

Use QR codes as a new channel to download an application, send a message/email, offer, deal, etc. Also, don’t forget if you want users to scan the QR code, you need to make it visually appealing. In addition to making sure that it has a purpose. Create a smooth customer experience with QR Codes. Lastly, always gather your data to see if the campaign is successful. 

QR codes are proving to be very powerful when paired with an innovative strategy and a focus on user experience.


Mariam Zaidan
Mariam is a Marketing Executive at Hovi Digital Lab. Her dream is to become an influencer in the Marketing world that others can come to for ideas, strategies, and food. Social, digital, cakes, and cookies, Mariam’s got you covered.