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Love 'em or Hate 'em, QR Codes are Here to Stay


QR Codes … You know them, you love them, you hate them.

They're here to stay.

QR, or “Quick Response,” codes are easy, practical, and affordable for advertisers and business owners alike. And super simple for customers. Simply open your camera on your smartphone, hover it over a QR code, and voila! It sends you to a link containing all of the information you need. This could be for a product, an event, a form to fill out, or lately, a restaurant menu.

That’s right, it has become increasingly more common — thanks to the pandemic for jumpstarting it — for restaurants to have QR codes in lieu of a hard copy menu. In the early stages of 2020 when we knew very little about COVID, restaurants that were able to be open traded their paper menus for electronic menus. This was to cut down on surface exposure from the virus. However, don’t be surprised when restaurants continue this practice even after COVID.

There are many incentives for restaurants to keep their menus digital. For one, it eliminates the cost of having to print menus and maintain them. Another is that digital menus are much easier to update and change than a hard copy. Bitly President Raleigh Harbour notes that restaurants are now “able to adjust their menu offerings on the fly to account for elements like inflation, fluctuations in food and commodities prices, and other variables.”

Looking at QR codes from a marketing standpoint, there are differing opinions. Art directors find them ugly and distracting, while direct marketers are drawn to their simplicity, user friendliness, and responsiveness.

Sorry art directors, QR codes aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

QR codes can benefit your marketing strategy in a number of ways from sending a customer to a product listing on a website, to pulling up a video, to playing a song on a streaming platform, to even leading someone to your resume and portfolio. (Some people are even using QR codes instead of wordy business cards!)

And, to make things even easier, you can create a customized QR code online for free at websites such as The cost effectiveness of this tactic cannot be ignored. And again, not only are they affordable, they are also convenient for both creators of the code and scanners of the code. It’s easy to follow up with leads which makes it quantifiable and easily analyzable.

One last thing. Don’t forget that since a majority, if not all, QR codes will be scanned using a mobile device. Make sure that wherever the QR code is leading to, is designed for optimal mobile performance.

But, you knew that.

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