Quick response codes, better known as QR codes, have recently taken marketing campaigns by storm. Although the QR code has been around for nearly 30 years – originally developed by Japanese manufacturing company Denso Wave to track automobile parts – it has only been in popular use as a marketing campaign tool over the last decade or so.

Recently, QR codes have skyrocketed in popularity due to the pandemic, predominantly to make certain processes contactless and therefore safer for consumers.

In the post-COVID landscape, however, QR codes are increasingly becoming the preferred method for advertisers to increase consumer engagement with out of home (OOH) advertising.

This recent surge in the prevalence of QR codes is in part due to the fact that most smartphones now come with a QR code reader built into the camera. Before this innovation, consumers had to download a separate app to scan QR codes – which meant general adoption was far from universal.

Now, QR codes are an easy and convenient way for consumers to pull up extra information about a brand, access special offers, be directed to a website, view restaurant menus and online catalogs, receive and scan tickets and boarding passes, and a whole lot more besides.

And all this, opens up huge opportunities for digital OOH (DOOH) advertisers.

Example of QR Code campaign in action

(Image source: creativepool.com)

Dramatic Increase in QR Code Marketing Campaigns

Recent research reveals that a massive 98% of senior advertising executives believe the use of QR codes in DOOH marketing campaigns will increase over the next two years.

The global study found that more than two out of three (68%) executives expect the use of QR codes in DOOH to increase by 20% or more in the next 12 months, with nearly one in five expecting growth of 50% or more.

Perhaps most significantly, 99% of respondents believe that advertisers looking to successfully target Gen-Z consumers must leverage QR code campaigns.

According to the report, this generation is very familiar with scanning codes on their smartphones through popular apps such as Snapchat.

QR Codes Are the Future

As advertisers witness the demise of third-party cookies, they must find new ways of measuring how impactful their campaigns are. QR codes delivered through DOOH advertising serve as an effective way for advertisers to gather comprehensive first-party data to build a better profile of their customer base and measure visits to dedicated online landing pages.

This is something that close to 90% of senior executives believe will become more important over the next two years.

Additionally, according to the report, 92% of executives agree that greater use of QR codes for digital OOH advertising provides brands and SMBs with data to conceptualize personalized and engaging content for consumers.

“QR codes allow advertisers to pivot from traditional content to out-of-home content that actually elevates the consumer’s experience and drives measurable traffic and transactions. The bridge that connects the moment a consumer interacts with an ad to the instant they transfer that experience over to their smartphone is the impression advertisers are actually looking for.”

This all comes at a time when the vast majority of senior marketing executives (85%) expect DOOH advertising budgets to increase over the next 12 months, with 24% expecting these budgets to increase dramatically.

What’s more, the surveyed executives said that the budget for increased DOOH spending in 2022 will be taken from traditional channels, such as TV, newspapers, magazines, and radio.

graph showing top industries using DOOH advertising

(Image source: billboardinsider.com)

The Top Benefits of QR Code Campaigns

Let’s consider some of the top benefits of QR code advertising campaigns.

A QR Code Campaign Fuels Engaging, Real-time Experiences

Recent advancements in the digital out of home space has made DOOH ads a powerful tool in their own right for driving offline-to-online conversions.

However, when QR codes are incorporated into a DOOH ad – especially in high dwell time areas such as transit stations, street furniture, and digital billboards in city centers – moments of conversion can happen instantly.

This, of course, is great news for marketers who can easily craft QR code campaigns to encourage all sorts of actions. No matter if you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, increase social media followers, promote special offers, or push app downloads – it can all happen instantaneously with a simple point and click.

Example of QR code marketing

(Image source: google.com)

In addition to driving traffic (or downloads, special offers, etc.), this creates a better, more engaging user experience that immerses the consumer in the brand.

In a world where advertisers have only a few seconds to capture the attention of their target audience, adding QR codes to DOOH ads means brands can grab consumer attention with impactful creative and messaging, while giving consumers a way to further engage with the brand in real-time – thus lengthening the experience and deepening the connection.

As Barry Frey, President & CEO of DPAA observes: “In our fast-growing Digital Out of Home Ad Space, the increased use and availability of QR codes is benefitting brands and delivering increasingly high levels of consumer engagement with screens.”

QR Codes Enable Advertisers to Create Goal-Driven DOOH Campaigns

QR codes have completely changed the game for driving online action from digital out of home campaigns.

Traditionally, OOH ads had to prompt an action extremely quickly – meaning the CTA had to be incredibly simple. “Follow us on social media”, or “Visit our website” was about as much as a business could hope to achieve in terms of driving an online conversion.

Example of QR code marketing campaign

(Image source: billups.com)

However, DOOH-based QR code marketing has changed all that. Today, businesses can build original and unique DOOH campaigns and link them directly to dedicated online landing pages – purpose-built for mobile devices – that are designed to drive specific consumer actions.

In other words, QR codes give advertisers the opportunity to craft impactful DOOH campaigns and attach them to highly targeted goals.

With QR Codes, Advertisers Can Create DOOH Campaigns with Higher Measurability

Data, data, data – today’s marketers live (and die) by the stuff.

The great news is that QR code marketing campaigns lend themselves perfectly to the generation of high-quality data.

Why? Because every single click on a QR code can be tracked all the way to the end of the campaign – whether that’s making a purchase, downloading an app, accessing a coupon, discount, or special offer, following social media pages, or whatever else the goal may be.

Example of QR code marketing 3

(Image source: google.com)

What’s more, when you create a unique QR code, it can be tracked at the individual ad display level. This gives you fantastic insights into what ad placements work best, as well as which formats, messages, promotions and offers drive the greatest engagements and/or conversions.

This QR code data is invaluable to DOOH advertisers – as greater measurability leads to greater campaign optimization.

Get Started with QR Code DOOH Advertising with The Neuron

If you’re looking for a platform that can help you launch your next (or your first!) QR code DOOH ad campaign, then look no further.

The Neuron is a programmatic DOOH advertising platform that connects SMBs and advertisers directly to premium DOOH inventory.

Simply upload your creative (which you can create for free using our DOOH Design Studio), select your screens, and let The Neuron do the rest.

With single-click processes and up-to-the minute analytics allowing you to optimize campaigns on the fly, The Neuron is the go-to tool for DOOH advertisers everywhere.

Try The Neuron today.

How to Create a Successful DOOH Advertising Campaign