Aldo Agostinelli

Due to the pandemics, the QR Code has made a comeback bringing about the chance to positively reinvent marketing. Here is what is happening.

The other night I wanted to try eating out at a restaurant all my acquaintances had been talking about in enthusiastic terms. They were right: the place was clean, food was good, and all anti-COVID19 measures were applied scrupulously. But what surprised me the most was not the food itself but the menu.

On my table, there was a small, clear plexiglass  stand protecting a QR Code. No pages which have been touched thousands of times by all previous, current and future diners; no paper sheet, or anything. I took my smartphone, aimed at the code with my camera and I could read a .pdf file with all the items on the menu. Fast, hygienic, functional.

Had I been taken to the restaurant home page I might have ordered my food from my table by tapping twice on the screen. Even better.

QR code: a fast and efficient solution

I do not know how common this solution may be in Italy, but I find it amazing. And I think I am not the only one.

Underestimated for a long time, the QR code is easy to use, cheap and efficient and during and after the pandemics, it may actually solve a lot of issues, from improving the CRM to anti-COVID traceability. And, as mentioned by The Drum, it is finally coming back in half of the world. With over 80 million mobile connections  (Italians are just over 60 millions) and considering the need for sanitary prevention deriving from the pandemics, it would be a pity and a sesquipedalian act of foolishness not to exploit such technology (The return and rise of the QR code).

The history of the QR Code

The QR Code (QR stands for Quick Response) was born in Japan in the ’60s. Over the decades it has evolved with an increase in its capacity and the speed  of reading barcodes. For instance, if at the beginning it could read 20 digits, in 1994 it could already read 7.000 digits ten times faster than before. Technology has made it faster and the spreading of  smartphones in the world has turned it into a standard system  : since 2012 is has been integrated into mobile phones along with many other functions.

Marketing transformation

The QR Code has countless possible applications. Including the possibility to transform the CRM and digital marketing. If properly used, it could allow brands to promote their products by launching innovative campaigns, finding new customers, targeting the audience better thus increasing the ROI. On the user’s side, instead, it allows customers to receive information, discounts, promotions, to directly interact with brands and book services. No paper, no cookies (which are however doomed due to the expansion of mobile technology), just a smartphone and a code to be aimed at with your camera, to download digital coupons or to visit an e-commerce website where to make your purchases. Everything in a relationship, the one between brands and their customers, which may finally become clearer and more well-balanced. From big retail chains to single shops.

It is definitely time for marketing to think about it and move towards the digital transformation.

Do you ever use QR Codes? What do you think about them? Tweet @AgostinelliAldo

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Aldo Agostinelli