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Originally designed to track inventory, QR codes are scannable barcodes that can redirect users to take a specified action or take them to a designated website. When QR codes were first introduced in a marketing capacity, it became clear they were ahead of their time. Now, however, with QR codes considered somewhat ubiquitous, smartphones possessing intrinsic QR scanning technology, and an estimated 11 million households scanning QR codes this year, the marketing potential of the QR code has exploded. Here are a few ways businesses can utilize this technology.


When a user scans a QR code, one of the most popular and measurable paths taken entails directing the user to a business’ website, social media account, review page, or other relevant sites. This practice is efficient for the user as it eliminates the process required to access and navigate the pages. It also benefits the business by expediting the process of attracting consumers and driving traffic.


Sending messages when prompted by a user scanning a QR code is an exciting prospect that can benefit SMS and email marketing strategies. A text message prompted by a QR code scan can be used in many ways, including opt-in SMS registration and user support. QR codes can also help businesses analyze email marketing initiatives’ success through metrics such as bounce rates.

Proximity Marketing

With a customer-centric approach to proximity marketing, businesses can maximize the potential of QR codes. Businesses can use QR codes to help guide customers through their stores to locate specific items or services, and they may also direct them to review pages or giveaways through QR codes printed on receipts. The use of QR codes in brick-and-mortar stores could easily enhance the customer experience. Since smartphone technology has evolved to eliminate external scanning apps, businesses should capitalize on QR codes for their marketing initiatives.

While the initial introduction of QR codes in marketing was not particularly successful, the time has come to revisit this technology and integrate it into contemporary marketing efforts. Through innovative initiatives and customer-centric marketing approaches, the use of QR codes can improve engagement at every customer life cycle level.