The challenges posed by the Coronavirus changed the way many business interact with consumers. Beyond face masks and social distance guidelines, stores and restaurants are cutting back on the number of things they hand out. For example at restaurants menus are now using QR Codes to drive people to online menus. Marketing campaigns can also use QR Codes for College Students.
History of QR Codes
According to Mobile-QR-Codes.org, the first QR Code was created in 1994 by a Toyota subsidiary called Denso Wave. The company wanted a quick response (QR) system that would allow them to track vehicles and parts. These square formats can store more information than a traditional bar code and can be read in 360 degrees from any direction.
With the proliferation of mobile devices, QR Codes increased in popularity. They released the codes to the general public between 2011-2013. Advertisers began using them for marketing. They directed people to web sites, allowed them to download apps, or gave simple push to call buttons. Codes are simple to create. Many web sites like QR Code Monkey make it easy to design with a wide range of functionality.
QR Codes Decline and Rebirth
Some marketers may shake their head at QR codes as they remember the initial barriers. When it launched to consumers not everyone had smartphones with QR readers. Some QR Codes were frivolous or not useful to consumers. Codes often appeared in dead zones in connectivity.
However in the last couple of years, this has become less of an issue. Smartphones have become more prevalent and include built in QR readers with their default camera. Apps like SnapChat and Facebook now can read QR codes as well. Most of the world will have access to high speed internet compared to the situation in 2011. Additionally it’s now possible to add logo, color and modify shapes of codes.
QR Codes for College Students
Since many colleges will enforce social distancing, it has become harder to distribute flyers. In response, we recommend creating virtual flyers. Brand Ambassadors hold up a code students can scan from a distance. The action could bring students to a registration page, download an app, place an event in their calendar, or have them call/text a number of the marketer’s choice. All the interactions can be tracked.
To increase engagement we encourage students to be given something in return for scanning the code (swag, BOGO, or a free product/service.) Students would be more likely to scan the code if they know exactly the benefit for them.
As the world moves socially distant apart, QR Codes can bring us back together. Fall 2020 is a great time use QR Codes for College Students.