I know we probably all wrote off QR Codes before COVID, but they're back and better than ever!
QR Codes can be a great way to engage your customers, along the customer journey, to engage with your brand.
Whether you direct them to additional content, a coupon, a menu, or whatever you can imagine, the use of QR Codes is quickly becoming a pillar in the way we connect the online and offline worlds.
Find out from Christof Jaritz, VP of Sales & Marketing at QR Code Generator,
how he sees everyone, from Fortune 500 companies to small and medium sized businesses, using QR Codes to generate more engagement with advertising and bottom line dollars.
Learn more at...
Check out the perfect platform for #programmatic QR Code marketing...
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Welcome to out-of-home insider the loudest voice in out of home. A lot of people have been asking me about why I joined one screen and today's guest is a perfect example of why. And the insight that he was going to provide is something that we can all use. Everyone in the industry can use it to help clients run more measurable campaigns and do some really cool stuff.
Today's guest is Mr. Christoph. Jared's he's the vice president of marketing and sales at QR code generator, industry leader in QR code marketing. And today we'll be gleaning insight and data about how companies around the world are using QR codes to generate serious engagement in revenue specifically, we'll be talking about QR codes used in out-of-home advertising.
Kristoff. Thanks for being. Thanks for having me. Absolutely. So let's start, let's start and re lay the groundwork. Fundamentally. We've probably all seen a QR code. I hope everyone's seen a QR code at this point, but what is a QR. So, I mean, it's basically just like, you know, technical advancement from, you know, a barcode, you know, those little things that you would have on, uh, you know, any product that you'd buy in a supermarket and the cashier runs it over a scanner and it kind of tells them the number.
So QR code is like, you could almost imagine it like a 3d version about 2d version, because that is one I mentioned. All of that barcode, so it can hold more information. It was developed by a company in Japan called Denzel wave and day. Ultimately only really use it for industrial, um, you know, uses as in, you know, you think of a data or like of a physical warehouse where robots would read those QR codes, knowing where to go to pick up stuff.
Um, however, you know, in recent years there has been more and more. Ideas around how to use QR codes in, you know, out of foam and just like, you know, for marketing purposes, because, you know, it's just a good way to bring people from an offline experience or from an offline environment to, you know, your online representation.
So you can basically put any type of data behind that code that you want. It could be a website, it could be, you know, a donation campaign for Bitcoin. It could be, you know, an MP3. So. Information that is not too large, that couldn't be, can be, you know, visually, uh, um, you know, processed by, by any phone. Now, you know, Android and iOS have both built it into their native camera apps, um, can be scanned by anyone so they can find that information that you want to give them in a very, very.
It's interesting because a lot of the conversation, particularly around advertising mediums is how do I, how do I measure that this thing is working? How do I translate that the dollar I spent in advertising has created $5 in revenue. But it sounds like there's a lot more ways to use a QR code beyond just like, Hey, directly trying to sell something.
Do you see a lot of companies? It may maybe give us a few examples of some of the creative or the more outside of the box, ways to use the QR. So, so maybe let's do it like this. I mean, I, I, in my past, I started in online advertising. I worked for Google for nearly eight years. Right. So the typical direct response, you can measure what you do at prizing.
And, and I remember, you know, in the early days of early days, right. Which not talking to, you know, the pre 2010. Right. And when everyone was still trying to figure that out online advertising was awesome because it was the first way to actually have conversion rates and engagement rates and all that behind it.
But the holy grail, after that period has always been disliked. How do I get people from that out of home, offline context, to do something online. I try to make it more measurable. You know, there's people experimenting with deacons and so on and so forth. So what our QR code ultimately does, and especially these days is just, it's one of those vehicles that I can use to make my, my online or my, my virtual content discoverable for someone in an offline.
That's right. So they, they may be in store, right? So they're there shopping for something I've seen really cool stuff done. Um, by Luxotica and ultimately own, you know, any sunglasses brand. You can imagine your Ray-Bans Oakley, you name it. It's all the hairs. Um, But D what they do for example is you scan a QR code.
You can look at the sunglasses, you know, kind of have a picture taken of your face, play around with it, like in a video triumph, virtually try on that sunglasses. So that's cool. You bring someone executive from the in store experience and enhance their experience with virtual reality or whatever you might call it.
Um, The more common use case that you see these days, obviously with all of us being to more or less extent, depending on where you are stuck at home. Um, restaurants trying to figure out, you know, how I can do touchless stuff is obviously, you know, all those catching.
Hey, welcome back. Welcome back. We'll have to cut that. We've been cut off. That's fine. I can stitch that all together. You were, you were just starting to talk about restaurants and tried to do the context. Yeah. So what do you see a lot these days? It's like, you know, restaurants, you know, having to kind of being forced you to the COVID pandemic to do stuff that's, that's less, um, you know, touchy, like you don't want to have a physical menu with like, you know, plastic lamination or whatever in your hands.
And. Then they're exploring those ways of like, how can I host my menu online? And if you think about it for that mom and pop shop a mom and pop restaurant around the corner, they may not be like as digitally savvy. It's a very easy way to kind of, you know, have a forced first foray into that. Um, you know, you have your menu hosted online.
It's it's people, people are more understanding of like, oh, I can scan that code now. Um, And those restaurants are not doing more innovative stuff with it, right? So you don't have to stop at, oh, I'm just reproducing my paper menu and hosting an online, but you can do again, more interactive stuff. I loved the idea of, you know, especially at the more high end places, seeing something about, if we talk about someone, I know you're in New York, right?
Dan barber doing farm to table. If I can find out more about the ingredients that I'm being served, where the farm is, you know, I could have a super interactive experience. Like I'm sitting at the table, I'm looking at that menu. I can see where that whatever beetroot is is I know how it source to the farmer is you can really have this more personalized experience, maybe even have a multimedia experience around it.
And I feel like, you know, people aren't exploring that enough yet. It's just, you know, Again, I think that that vehicle of like, you know, getting people to actually easily have an entranceway to that online and enhance experience has been. It's really interesting. I think, I think the point I want to latch onto there that you said early on was that it takes the offline experience online, right.
And the use of content to build a story. Right. And thinking about that, you know, that, that beet salad and Hey, here's the red eye scan, the QR code. And here's this cool little two-minute video about the farmers where we source our ingredients from. Maybe there's a little profile about the far right.
Where now we're more connected to the story behind the food. Taking this whole thing long tail is well, then that restaurant presumably can create more intrinsic value in that dish, right. Potentially charge more, have premium drinks associated with it. Like that's a cool idea of the multi multimedia experience.
And really using content behind the advertising, but it sounds like there's still a, there's still a chasm. There's still a gap that we need to, to cross in terms of education, what sort of categories or industries are you seeing use QR codes most effective. Yeah. So let me address that chasm for a second before I go into the industry, right?
Because I feel, you know, a few years back, uh, you know, there was this tumbler of like people, pictures of people scanning QR codes, right. It was just a guaranteed tumbler folder because no more scanned coronavirus saved the QR. Yes. So I, you know, it's, it's interesting because so, so Jocko generated a calm.
We've been, we've been seeing growth before that, but obviously due to Corona virus and, you know, we can, we can pretty much track in every country, like, you know, where the lockdown measures happened, that we had a massive surge in customers from. Right, but, but I think the more important trend is that consumers of all age groups of all target groups are now more familiar with the concept because of our new reality.
Over the past few months, all of us, I I'd hazard a guess that everyone listening to this has been scanning a QR code in the past month. And that also there have been a lot of people who have never done it before maybe, or, you know, even if they're tech savvy understand what a QR code is, but like never really could be bothered because why, right.
Yeah. And, and, and, and the same time there was this gap again, to, you know, to find more solutions that are easy enough to get those people, to have those more online experience. So to bridge that gap between that, and that is something that is quite ubiquitous, um, across industries. So we obviously, like, I mean, the number one industry that we see is actually, you know, hospitality, astronomy, you know, hotels, restaurants, but then.
There's a lot of things around real estate retail, obviously, you know, I love the idea of appointment booking work. You are code no matter what service you provide, like from, and that, that has become a lot more important during COVID as well. Like if you, if you don't want to, you're going to the hairdresser, you can have 10 people in there at once.
You have to kind of, you know, have some hygiene protocols and stuff like that. So I see that a lot more as well, like. Scan the code book, your slot come by when the, when the time comes. So you don't have to interact unnecessarily with people and, and, you know, expose your risk. And I think that's not just a, that is something where people notice, oh, this is kind of convenient.
I want to, I want to be doing this after all of this is over and we can leave our homes again. Um, and it's just, yeah, it's a nice way to do it, right. Like I don't have to call, sit on hold. I can. I control. My experience, I'm probably done faster than if I called in and tried to make that appointment. So that's interesting.
It makes a lot of sense. Do you see, do you see any use cases that are over-indexing in terms of performance? Is it appointment booking? Are you seeing, are you seeing other types of engagement with QR codes that that do particularly with. Um, so it always obviously depends on the, um, on the brand that is using, right.
So it helps if you already have a recognizable brand in the sense of like you have the user base that will actually scan it. Right. So, um, one of the things that I see around the corner, like we, we just had a five guys opening here, which, um, And European expansion is going on. So they do, they, they literally just opened here right in the middle of Berlin.
Um, and that location I think, was opened a month before the pandemic, really it, so that's a tough one to kind of get started, but what we've been doing, and I think they are doing it at most of the restaurants now is you scan a code and you put together your burger. Um, You'll put together your order and then you, again, you go in and use it there.
And that has been used as far as I can tell massively every time I walk past, I see people scanning that, doing that, standing out there with your phones, you can tell to building their burgers. They don't have to go to a person, tell them the order. And so on. It's similar to what McDonald's does with those physical displays that they let you do the.
If you think about it as well from a hardware perspective, if that's something that you do and you don't have to put those displays in, but you get to do it on their phones. No kidding. And operationally, it must create a high degree of efficiency because now I'm not limited by the capacity of one person taking an order.
And I've got a line of 15 people, right? So customer experience is better. I'm able to get what I want faster, quicker, easier. I didn't have to wait in line. I just placed my order. But then from a business standpoint, too, I'm more efficient. Right. I'm receiving these orders and I can parse out the work and, and accomplish these, uh, these tasks in a more efficient way.
And that's it. So that's really interesting. You talked there about a brand that's established using a QR code versus maybe a brand that isn't established. How do you, how do you broach the. The conversation around expectations of clients using QR codes in advertising. How do you, how do you parse that conversation out, uh, in terms of what they should do?
I mean, it's, it's important to note that as a business, we are super SME driven, right? So our, like the majority of our client base, yes. We have a lot of really interesting brands in there. A lot of fortune 500 companies and so on and so forth. But the bread and butter is actually SMBs. And if you, if you think about it, like the.
Uh, most of those people would have, you know, maybe two or three coats, not like hundreds of those. Right. As in again, like sticking with a little retail thing, I have my shop. I want to be able to, you know, showcase my, my online catalog to people. I want to maybe have an appointment booking thing. Um, you know, there's, there's, there's a.
Very preset amount of use cases by industry. So the approach that we've taken is actually to produce content around that as well. I think one thing that we, we pride ourselves on, I'm really proud of my content team because they write a lot of their, their content with the use case in mind for those small moment options and no matter what industry, right?
So we have a, we have a whole category of. Literally any business you might think of from real estate to restaurants, to, to, you know, those retail things, um, to DJs, right? So DJ is, you know, linking their, um, SoundCloud, uh mix-tapes on, on, you know, their business card, putting that code on there. And I've seen really creative use cases.
That's why it's so tough to kind of pin it down. What is the core? Because like your, your imagination is kind of, you know, the. The boundary for that. And that's what we've been trying to showcase. Hey, here's a few ideas that we have, but then, you know, my family is in the restaurant business. That's why I keep talking back to that.
Right. Because I understand it a little bit from, from growing up. And then I talked to my dad who, you know, runs a few restaurants and he tells me stuff about how they would use. Oh, how they could use it, that I wouldn't even have thought about, you know, you have that techie mindset, but ultimately the QR code is a, is a vehicle to get people that aren't, that tech savvy to think creatively about how they could use that, that tech and bring people to, you know, do something, interact with their, with their businesses.
Uh, you know, it is interesting to write and maybe it's, maybe it's a working, working backwards if I'm company a and my goal is to sell more stuff, right? Understanding what the buyer's journey is and how can I use this QR code to be a vehicle, to be a mechanism, to either move them from one phase of the funnel to another, or, or to, you know, bring them along.
What I know my buyer's journey typically is and shorten that sales cycle are there specific. Offers. If we get down to the nitty gritty, right? We've got a brand who's like, Hey, I want, I'm a gym and I want more gym membership, signups. I want more leads right. For my sales team to close. Are there offers that you see working particularly well for maybe not established brands?
Is it, are they financial like, Hey, $25 off first month free? Are you seeing specific. Offers like that working well for maybe not established brands. Yeah, I think so. There's two aspects to too. So I think the, the, the first thing that you just mentioned is this whole, what is the user journey and where does it break for me to track stuff?
Right. So you always want to be able, no matter whether it's a 25% off coupon or a first month three, whatever it might be. Right. And I think, you know, whether where the, where that code comes in is. You let's stay with the fitness center. I just mentioned. Right? So I'm talking to a trainer, you know, at the desk fair.
I'm interested in joining. Um, they, they gave me like a little leaflet with all my information or, you know, these days showed me a screen with all the information, whatever it might be. Um, and it have me scan a QR code. So they know that, okay, X, many people, they scan the QR codes and let's say a hundred people scan it.
Right. So do people sign up for a package a and 10 people sign up for package B the restaurants that is still better than, you know, what I would have had before with just, you know, people having a leaflet. Now they type my address into their browser and may, you know, close a membership with my gym. And I wouldn't have been able to track that because I didn't have anything like that.
So that, that is one aspect that I think no matter whether you're a small business or a large chain advertiser bridging that gap is core and then getting some extra data. But then when it comes to which offers. It's so situational. I don't even think that you always have to necessarily offer a discount.
It's more about what is the value that you provide to your customer. And do you actually understand what drives them right now? So, so again, like in, in, in this day and age, like, you know, being touchless and making it as easy as possible to interact with your. Without, you know, a lot of people are afraid because of all the news and media going around and, and, and, and it's, it's, you know, I have people in a risk group in my family.
I don't want to put them in dangerous. So as much as I can minimize contacts, I will do that. Right? So the business that allows me to do something as contactless as possible and be respectful of the people around me. And don't put them at risk that is already a selling factor. And then on top of that, you know, well, gyms are a tough sell right now because many of them aren't open.
Right. Uh, but, but again, if I, if I can bridge that gap between the offline and online experience, I think that's, what's, you know, the biggest competitive of gyms right now as in Peloton is doing right. So the pallets in store around the corner from me has a QR code in the window. Right. So that stuff out, but they also want you to.
No. See those lessons online. It's, it's bridging the gap between what you offer offline as in like, you know, the physical product, for example, for Peloton. But also if I can now show you also a video of what our, what our courses look like. I've made it multi, multi experience multimedia. Right? So it doesn't always have to be a hard discount or whatever.
It can also be just setting yourself apart from competitors and seeing that you've got an holistic offer. Yeah. And I think that that's really great distinction to make is we're not just throwing QR codes onto advertising and expecting to all of a sudden be able to track a hundred new sales. We've got to consider.
Who is seeing who's, who's engaging with an interacting with this piece of advertising. Right, right, right from jump. And then what's the next thing, like what's what is the next step in that customer's journey? Like what, what is it that they will likely do? And can we shorten that gap? So, so having consideration, having a thought process behind the QR code and then understanding, okay.
If somebody does scan this, where's it going? Right? What's the quality of the content behind it is if this is directed, my social media is my social media up to date. Like, are these things. Have we checked the boxes, right? Have we, have we really given enough thought to this? What are some common misunderstandings around QR codes?
So I think the one that you mentioned is like, you know, do people actually understand what it does, right. So the easiest thing to make your, you know, your scan rate and like, you know, the adoption rate of your got better as everyone has a damn black on white QR code, right? Use your brand colors, put your logo.
So the interesting thing is. You can really, I mean, we provide an editor, but like you can do it obviously yourself with, uh, you know, like graphic design and so on as well. But we have a lot of templates for that. You use your logo, you give us your brand colors, you put it in there and you have something that matches your brand experience.
Now, if you put it on a leaflet, if you put it on a, you know, a shopping window or whatever it might be, and you also can, let's say put a little frame around me that says whatever the easiest, you know, call to actions work, just put, scan me on there. Yeah, I'll tell them, tell them what the code does. Right?
Like scan me for more information or see a video of how this product works or a scan for menu stick with the restaurant example, it is flabbergasting. How many people are like, okay, I need a QR code now. So I'm going to have this black and white thing that I print out and that quality maybe even to smaller.
So it's hard to skin and I just slap on my table on my window, whatever. So if you really, you know, you have to see it as an integrated part of whatever you do in advertising as well. And the more it matches. Your, I dunno, your brand language, your brand colors, the more adoption you're going to get. Only thing don't go, don't go too crazy on it because people should still recognize it as a QR code.
That is the only thing that I'll say. I always see those kind of branded things that I, you know, I wouldn't know that it's a QR code anymore. I've seen one. Um, I think it was ham or something like that. You don't have that brand in the U S so when you mentioned the brand, but as literally a package of Hanway to put a QR code in the heart on the product.
And I mean, I work with those things day by day, I would, I had to take a double, do a double take. And instead of just, you know, that is the only limitation I'd say, but apart from that, you know, don't make it boring and tell people what's behind it. And. And so, so maybe, do you have any interesting data around that?
I'm a bit of a data nerd. I'm just curious, like do presumably right. Th th the QR codes that are brand cohesive and look like an asset or a guest scammer, but what sort of, what sort of neat nuggets you have, uh, on the data behind this? I mean, a very, very broad number, right? So. At least, you know, the minimum uplift that you'll see if you do it properly and put a cultural action on it is four to five X.
However, I will caveat that because you're asking very broad questions after a hundred and we have millions of customers, uh, across various industries. Where are you putting this? What is behind the code? You know, like what, how, how well-trusted is your brand since it's very broad, but in broad spectrums, you're definitely going to get significantly more scans.
We make it to what's behind it and make it enticing for people to see. Uh, are there any, any campaigns that stand out to you from an out-of-home standpoint that a lot of we're seeing it more now and out of home? Uh, I, I've got a couple pulled up here on my screen here that, uh, that, that stood out to me, but anything that's jumped off the, off the table and really grabbed your attention over the last couple of.
Yeah. So, I mean, one, one that you, yeah, this is a nice one. Right? So again, like, and I think the one that you're showing there, it's a scan me, you know, with that little, uh, um, how would you say like the, the little gift wrap. Again, that's the easiest call to action that you have, right. Do you want people to scan it?
Um, but still, you know, this could be even done better by, by saying for what it is, I mean, in this case yet. So does Valentine's day dinner show that I can book? Um, I like this as well, because it has, it matches the brand colors. It's a very kind of, you know, uh, cubits. Yeah. It's, it's, it's that, that does a lot, a lot of things.
Right. And it's also big enough to, for, for people to scan it. Right. So even if. Yeah, I think the important thing for out of home, or like, you know, ambient advertising in dead regards, if you put it on a big billboard, the code has to be big enough for someone to scan it from. Okay, now I have to do like meters and feet, but let's say you have to, you have to be a few feet apart.
No, one's going to stand in front of that billboard on times square and you know, fiddle with the phone to scan it. So I think that's important. Are there, are there any limitations in terms of size? Like, is there too big for acute QR codes? Is there too small? There is too small. I think like, you know, I might again like sending me those inches, so I think it's, it's.
It's around two and a half centimeters and you need to help me with my inches there. Right? So as a European, always thinking metric, but it's it's, it's, it should be, that is the minimum size. That is two, two and a half or two and a half that you should usually have for it to be scannable. It could still be scannable.
Sometimes you see smaller ones, but if you want to make sure that's what you should go by. Got it too big, too big. I haven't heard of something being too big. I mean, the only thing that I would. Pay attention to is depending on what tool you use, right? Your, um, you know, the pixel size and so on needs to be big enough to not mess up those, those corners that you have.
And you know that the area of the code, but technically, at least there's no too big. Right. So, so it's, you need to still be able to obviously. Scan it with a camera. I think it's more of like, what is the aspect ratio of, how do you envision standing people in front of that? So if it's an, a say in a store window, um, and you do whatever, like three feet by three feet, right?
That is probably fine. Like it's big, but people, you know, if they stand, you know, three to nine feet apart, they can quite easily scan it with their phone. Right. However, you know, again, like if you, if I use the one that you're just showing data is like, you know, on a, on a building and further. It needs to be even bigger than that, to some extent.
And, and, and it should also not be, you know, hidden or obfuscated in a way that your, um, like most of your users are going to use their tech by now the Android or iOS built in camera to recognize that coat. Right. Maybe a few people still use like, you know, QR code scanner app, or used to be the case.
Right. So just, you know, do some testing around that, like, you know, get an iPhone, get an Android device, see if it works and. No, that's very cool. And talk to me about this one. This, I, I just love this piece. I stole this right off your LinkedIn page, but this is pretty cool. And this was a campaign that help artists and with donations.
Yes. So the idea behind that is, you know, it's mural and, um, that artists would put a Bitcoin link and the regards behind it. So that code, um, would, would then lead to, you know, their Bitcoin wallet. You can make a donation. Um, you can also find out more about the artist obviously, but that's yeah, that's a that's.
Very creative use case. I've also seen the same thing. We've talked about MP3 a little bit before, you know, I've seen a DJ, you know, have some, some artistry behind there, um, for their set in a, in a club and stuff like that. Also with a QR code behind it that let you download some of their mixes. Right? So it's, it's, it's from, from the artistic standpoint, you know, there's just, there's a lot of different ways of, of getting people to follow you or to, you know, buy pieces of you or whatever it might be that you want to.
It's very cool. Christophe. Where should folks go to learn more about what it is you guys do? If maybe there's a brand listening or media companies working with somebody, where can folks connect with you? Learn more about. Yeah, so it's relatively easy. Or our website is QR code generator.com, um, is easy to remember and we have, you know, so if you have different businesses, we have two sections which are basically QR codes for, um, which is, you know, any business type that you may have, you know, that, and we'll have some blog articles that give you some ideas of like, how can you use it for you?
And then we have a, another section called QR codes on. So let's say if you're more in the product side, you're thinking, Hey, I want to design this packaging where I want to give you, you know, I've seen a lot of wind yards doing that right now, where they say, Hey, I want to put this on my bottle of wine.
And I want to show people what the vineyard actually looks like. Some cool examples there. Right? If you put it on a bottle and you need to think about the curvature a little bit as well, right? So where it's placed on the label. That it's still scannable. So there's a few aspects there I'd spend. Maybe that's one of you for conscious.
Now, if you're doing a billboard and it's, you know, not one of the, one of the classic ones, but I'm forgetting the English word now, right? Those round billboards. That is still fine. When we just had up for the dinner, it had angled panels on the side. Yeah. Yeah. So test that, check that out because that, that can screw it up.
Right. So if that, if that, if that ratio is a little bit off, um, especially on, on product packaging, just something that I would always test, but we see a lot of, uh, I, I know that she's, it's had like, you know, a promotion now with the MLS or something like that on the back of their packaging where you can also scan it, you ACO to win, um, you know, tickets to, to some MLS games.
And I'm like, okay, there's no MLS games, but I do like Cheez-Its so, yeah, so I like Cheez-Its and I liked the damage. You walk, quote on it. By the way, one of the fun sides about this job is like, you know, I I've, I've known about Yoko's, I've scanned them before, but after taking this job, I see them everywhere.
It like makes you, you know, go through the world of, and it's exactly that example of out of home, right? You're out of your home. You don't even realize how many QR codes are around you and once you start taking pictures or, you know, noting them, you're like, oh, that's a cool use case. And you just start seeing them in a more and, and, and for right, for someone who, if that there's a QR code on something that I care about, that I'm more likely to write just because we see it and we go, oh, why would someone use that?
You're probably not the target customer for that brand or that product, but somebody who is, who's buying cheeses for their seven year old son. And he's asking me, Hey daddy, well, what's this thing on the back, you know about soccer? Well, guess what? Dad's going to be scanned the QR code and find that out.
So it may not make sense on the surface, but. It sounds like there's a lot of ways to use it off. This has been really helpful. And, and if you've found value from it, please share this with somebody else who could benefit as always make sure to click the subscribe button down below there in the corner.