Are QR codes dead? Is LinkedIn right to introduce them now?

What is a QR code?

QR CodeFor those who haven’t come across QR codes before (or for those that may have seen one but are unsure what it does), a QR code is short for “Quick Response Code”. The principal is quite similar to a bar code – each QR code is unique, however instead of each code being attributed to a product and a price, this little beauty can be utilised in a number of ways with the right application. For example, product tracking, item identification, time tracking, document management and general marketing.

It was first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan. It’s initial purpose was to track vehicles during manufacturing with high-speed component scanning.

QR Codes for marketing

Most people have probably seen QR Codes in respect to general marketing and communication campaigns; maybe at the bottom of an advert or on a product box for example. By using a QR Scanner via a smart phone, your internet browser will open up and link directly to the advertisers website page. This is a perfect way to link to a specific product page as it avoids listing long (and ugly) urls on adverts and makes it so much quicker for consumers to access specific web pages quickly.

Case study

I have used QR Codes in previous campaigns. For example, I introduced QR codes while working on a sixth form prospectus. There were many benefits to this..
– students were tech savvy so this helped encourage engagement
– students may not carry a prospectus around with them, but by scanning and saving links to their phones they had all the information literally in the palm of their hand
– by linking the prospectus to the sixth form website, I could reduce to size (and cost) of the prospectus but still ensure students had access to all the information they needed
– any last minute course changes (which happened often!) could be easily updated on the website and avoided the printed prospectus being out of date

Key benefits:

– significantly saved time and money
– increased student engagement
– increased student admissions

Are QR Codes less common?

Leverage Your Existing Contacts | empower marketingWith more and more companies relying on social media and mobile apps, the use of QR Codes seems to have decreased over the last few years so its interesting to see that LinkedIn have added a QR Codes feature as a quick and easy way for people to swap their details when they are not already connected on this social network – its essentially like swapping digital business cards, but with more personal information.

Whether this feature takes hold remains to be seen. Personally I haven’t used it yet, but with the GDPR rules stricter on how companies collect business cards at exhibitions, maybe this personal connection may be embraced more.

The future of LinkedIn connections

LinkedIn has 500 million users, but many people still don’t feel they are utilising LinkedIn effectively. However by encouraging business people at meetings to connect via LinkedIn will help develop more meaningful connections. I’m all for improving the ‘social’ and ‘personal’ element of social media because people buy from people. So this could be a very positive move for LinkedIn.

Contact us

Want to know how to utilise LinkedIn, QR Codes or need a prospectus designed? Contact Empower Marketing today on 01594 546161.