The Why, How & Where of QR Codes

Cross media offers the ability to transfer your target audience from your printed message to your digital message with one quick scan of a 2D code.  Doing so increases the amount of time consumers spend with the message from your brand. Today, we are going to discuss the “Why, How & Where” of QR codes — Why Quick Response codes should be included in your cross media mix, how the bar code should be used to increase consumer engagement and where your QR codes should be used throughout your marketing mix.


A consumer’s attention is highly divided.  To gain your target audience’s attention your message needs to offer exciting, relevant and engaging content and the message needs to be communicated through multiple consumer touch points.

Including Quick Response codes on a printed message offers an easy way for consumer’s to find out more information about a product by simply scanning the bar code with their mobile phone.  Furthermore, QR code users are consider a highly engaged audience, with one in five making a purchase, and are more likely to make a purchase or respond to a call to action directly from their mobile phone.


The 2-dimensional code can store an enormous amount of data.  When a user scans the code, the embedded URL takes them to a designated landing page, once the user is on the landing page they can click and view any content within the URL on their mobile phone.  As a marketer, you’re also able to track and measure what people click on and spend the most time viewing.  By measuring and analyzing this data you can create more targeted messages in the future based on the information collected.

The code’s landing page content should reflect the information from the brand’s printed message — as the printed message is what enticed them to scan the code for more information in the first place.  By including content that compliments your print message you’re able to maintain the consumer’s attention for a longer period of time, which will keep your brand top of mind.

One other important factor to consider when creating a QR code’s landing page is making it mobile-friendly. The average scanner will not wait more than 5 to 7 seconds for a page to load.  A website designed for a desktop screen will take much more time to load than a site designed for a small mobile screen.


Where should you place these 2D barcodes?  QR codes can be placed on any printed material from brochures to direct mail to your product packaging.  By adding them to your printed communication you are able to not only enhance the amount of time a consumer spends with your brand but you also increase your ability to track and measure the success and weaknesses of your brand’s message.

Timothy Freeman
Print & Graphic Communications Association


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