You’re likely seeing a dramatic increase in the use of QR codes in marketing materials lately. Despite being around for quite some time, they’re really beginning to be recognized by marketers as a great way to integrate online and offline marketing efforts. And it makes sense; smartphone use continues to rise – Comscore reports that 82.2 million Americans have one now. Comscore also reports that 14 million Americans scanned a QR code in June 2011 alone. The demographics tend to skew towards young, affluent males, so if that is your target audience QR codes can be of immense benefit to your campaign.
The huge benefit of using QR codes is in how many ways they can be implemented. A QR code can be placed almost anywhere; on print materials such as flyers, posters, and product packaging, or even displayed on websites. The single most common place I’ve seen them is in advertising in restaurant bathrooms. The bar codes that are created can display a phone number, email address or plain text message. The most common use is to direct the user to a URL.