The Dos And Don’ts Of Utilizing QR Codes In Mobile Marketing Strategies

We see them everywhere, appropriately and inappropriately placed, but what are QR codes and how can businesses best utilize them in their mobile marketing strategy?  According to PCMag, a QR or Quick Response code is, “A two-dimensional bar code that is widely used to cause a Web page to download into the user’s smartphone when scanned with a mobile targeting app.  The Web page typically advertises a product or service but can promote anything such as a concert or other local event.”

QR codes can be found everywhere including magazines, product packages, store windows, billboards, taxicabs and corporate vehicles.  A recent study by Pitney Bowes shows that contrary to what some marketers may say, QR code usage is up, especially among younger generations:

The bottom line is that QR codes are easy, inexpensive tools any business can add to their mobile marketing strategy.  Here are some basic dos and don’ts of utilizing QR codes in a mobile marketing strategy.


Make sure your QR code tells people why they should scan it.  A QR code that indicates a contest or giveaway is likely to be scanned.  People that aren’t so familiar with QR codes will be more willing to scan them if they are given a reason to do so.

Offer QR codes that seem likely to engage your customers.  Popular ideas are:

      • Additional information on products or services
      • Exclusive videos
      • Games
      • Apps
      • Contests and giveaways
      • Coupons and discounts
      • Event details or tickets


Put QR codes in a place where people are likely to scan them.  One idea for successful QR code placement is to present them to a captive audience, like commuters in a bus or taxicab.  Magazines, store windows or posters, and product packaging are also popular placement options.

Local businesses should put QR codes on invoices and receipts including information on subscribing for discounts or coupons on your site.


Don’t put a QR code on anything unless you have a mobile site.  This will only serve to frustrate the customer.  QR codes are scanned with mobile devices and therefore should only take customers to a mobile site.

Don’t place QR codes in places that might cause a public safety issue.  Placing QR codes on billboards on the highway or sides of vehicles is a better way to get your customer in an accident than on your landing page.

Don’t put QR codes where people can’t access them.  Many complaints have been made about QR codes in subways or airplanes where there is no access to Wi-Fi.

Additionally, QR codes have been seen on high billboards, or building tops where people cannot scan them successfully.  There are actually websites poking fun at some of the ridiculous places QR codes have been placed.  Don’t get yourself listed on that site!

It’s easy to see how, if used properly, QR codes can be an effective tool for any company’s mobile marketing strategy.  Businesses seeking expert advice on mobile marketing should Contact Us.

Alex D.

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