Could the QR code be print media’s savior?


Share on LinkedIn

As marketers, we’ve eagerly anticipated the day when the marketing-to-sales process was one continuous, seamless effort. A prospect sees a communication for our product, is intrigued by it, immediately finds more information on it, then follows through with the purchase right then and there. The sales cycle reduced from weeks to moments.

I think most of us expected a scenario like this

QR code linking to Circling Raven’s video tour.

to be most likely to come about through the medium of television. What we are seeing though is that it is actually playing out right now in print media. Thanks to development and use of QR codes.

A QR code is basically a cell phone readable bar code. QR (or Quick Response) codes automatically direct users of mobile devices (like a smart phone or an iPad) to a specific destination online.

QR reader apps are readily available, and basically turn every smart phone into a QR reader (by the end of 2012, smart phone are projected to outnumber feature phones). The idea is, if you see an ad, shelf talker or product package that intrigues you, and if it has a QR code, your smart phone will read the code as a URL, and take you to the web content that’s linked to the QR code. No need to open your browser or type in a URL. It’s all done automatically.

It could take you to a page on the company’s web site with more information on the product, or client testimonials, FAQs, or even coupon offers. QRs can even link to phone numbers, email addresses or pre-formatted SMS (text) messages.

The thing is, this tiny bit of real estate of less than 1 square inch can be used to help “fill out” the story on your product. You can even include a means to purchase the product (or make a reservation) at the QR destination.

QR codes can be easily generated right online without any special equipment, expertise or software. A couple of good places to visit would be Kaywa or QRstuff .

There are literally hundreds of creative uses for QR codes. One of our clients, Circling Raven Golf Course in Worley, Idaho, used a QR code to link from a magazine ad to an eight-minute video tour of the course. To date, the video has received more than 33,000 views on YouTube (not all driven by the QR code, obviously).

As useful as QR codes are to consumers, they could prove to be the savior printed media has been waiting for. It is no secret that ad spending in newspapers and magazines has plummeted over the past few years. Could having QRs serve as a new “link” between the ad and the sale breathe new life into these media?

Bottom line, advertisers are all about performance. And if printed media can quantify how ads with QRs are driving sales, expect to see a renaissance from the “dead tree guys.”

Posted by Mickey

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mickey Lonchar
Mickey Lonchar has spent the better part of two decades creating award-winning advertising with agencies up and down the West Coast, Mickey currently holds the position of creative director with Quisenberry Marketing & Design, a full-service advertising and interactive shop with offices in Spokane and Seattle, Wash.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here