Should Retailers Manage QR Codes as a Channel On Their Marketing Calendars?

Here’s what every retailer already knows or at the very least suspects: QR Codes are here to stay.crosscap qr

We have the proliferation of smartphones to thank for it. According to Nielsen, close to half of all US cell phone users own a smartphone (well 49.7% to be exact). 

A few retailers around the world have begun to use QR codes in some interesting and creative ways. Tesco Home Plus, a major retailer in Korea, covered the walls of subway stations with posters that mimicked grocery aisles. Busy commuters simply scanned product QR codes to purchase items that were delivered by the time they got home.


Which brings us back to the question at hand, should QR codes have their own channel on your marketing calendar?

To answer this let’s first understand why retailers want to view channels on their marketing calendar. In a broad sense, marketers track channels because they need to measure effectiveness and the associated cost.

The cost of producing QR codes is negligible; however measuring its effectiveness is an interesting proposition. Delivering QR codes, often requires piggy backing on existing channels such as direct mail, in-store signage, TV, or web.

Determining the traffic from a QR code is relatively painless, especially one that takes shoppers to a specific offer on the web. That being said, the true effectiveness of a QR code is reliant on the reach of the channel that carried it in the first place, i.e. GRPs of a TV spot, foot traffic for in-store signage, etc.

Without the need to manage the cost or the effectiveness, I believe QR codes should instead be integrated into your existing channels as a promotional offer level.

What do you think, and how does your organization handle QR codes in their marketing calendar?

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