How to Use QR Codes in Marketing Automation: Connect Products to Customers

Discover how to use QR codes in marketing automation to achieve 40% higher marketing opt-in rate compared to industry average and connect products to customers.

A digital advertising company used no-code solutions to achieve a 48% marketing opt-in rate, exceeding the 34% industry average, by leveraging QR codes in their marketing automation campaign. This article explores how to use QR codes and no-code tools to create a successful marketing automation strategy, connecting shelf products to customers and unlocking valuable data.

  • 48% marketing opt-in rate, exceeding 34% industry average
  • QR codes unlock valuable customer data for consumer brands
  • Boosted sales and transformed into recurring campaign

It's a familiar scene - consumers wandering through supermarket aisles, carefully looking for their favorite healthy food: they pick a bag of salad here, a box of juicy fruit there. But even though they are the brand’s most loyal customer, the company selling the product has no way to know this.

For companies selling convenient consumer goods like salads and fruit, customer data is hard to obtain. Without it, they can’t send promotional email campaigns, they can’t alert clients when there’s a sale nearby, and they can’t personalize recommendations. 

The digital advertising company West Zebra faced this very problem when working with AgrioFresh, leading Romanian food company, to promote their fresh salad and fruit brands, Oliveris, Master Fresh and Master Fruit. So they decided to use promotional QR code campaigns. By adding scannable squares to salad bags and fruit boxes, shoppers could easily enter a contest and compete for a prize. West Zebra could then use that valuable customer data to better understand the clients and contact them through email and text messages, driving repeat purchases. Knowing how to use QR codes in marketing automation was key to their campaign's success.

How to use QR codes for marketing automation

The concept seemed simple enough. But executing large scaled automated QR campaign required overcoming several technical hurdles:

  • Ease of use - Entering codes for a contest is a widespread marketing practice, but it usually requires the consumer to log on a website. Many give up before this step.
  • Foolproof against fraud - The system needed to be robust enough so that each product could only be used once to enter the contest.
  • Data consolidation - with codes being scanned daily, merging information from multiple sources and types of products is challenging.
  • Attribution - connecting each QR scan to a specific user and purchase is difficult  

For an advertising agency unfamiliar with databases, APIs, and other complex technologies, solving these issues internally was not not an option. Neither was made-for-them software, as it was too outside of the budget range. But the low code solutions proposed by Makeitfuture made their campaign a success. 

Proactive problem-solving 

Picking up the call from West Zebra was Petru Pop, one of the founders of Make it Future. "When I started working with Petru for the first time, it felt as if we knew each other for 10 years,"  said Horațiu Cosma, owner in West Zebra.  Leaning on his no-code expertise, Petru was able to proactively come with new ideas and solutions for any issue the agency faced. “He came with a lot of good ideas”, added Horațiu. Petru proposed a no-code architecture that could capture and manage consumer data on scale.

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The technical solution had to balance two different objectives: for salad buyers, to make it as easy as possible to enter a promotional campaign; and for the digital agency, to have every step on autopilot - from promotional code validation, to consumer data consolidation, marketing permissions and even the weekly lucky draw automated.

The buyer would simply scan the QR on the package, enter a short code and enter their phone number. The agency wanted to make the process as smooth as possible and prevent the customer having to enter personal data multiple times. As such, the system was set up to detect if it was an existing customer, guiding them through a simplified process.  

Effortless campaign management

What went on behind the scenes was a careful orchestration of several automation processes.

  • Each new code was checked against a database for validation.  
  • Each phone number was searched in a customer database. 

  • Depending on client status, they received an automatic confirmation or were prompting to accept marketing messaging.

  • Weekly prize winners were automatically extracted, cataloged, and notified by email.

For the process, Make it Future employed three main tools:

  • HubSpot, as the headquarters of the customer data
  • Forms for Make, a custom-made form solution created by Make it Future  
  • to receive, validate and create the custom journey for each new competition entry

While QR codes are not a new concept, Make it Future’s campaign automation made it possible for the agency to be completely hands off and use its creativity to come up with more innovative ways to reach customers. The success of this campaign showcased the potential of creative QR code marketing ideas.

Above benchmark marketing opt-in rate

The results of the QR code campaign were impressive. For the first time, the company was able to obtain real data about their customers. The campaign achieved an astounding 48% opt-in rate for marketing messages, compared to the 34% industry average. Due to the campaign's success, the client is starting their promotion 1 month earlier this year and transforming it into a recurring campaign.

“I wouldn’t recommend you…. to my competition”

Horațiu Cosma, owner at West Zebra digital agency

West Zebra was thrilled with the results and the collaboration. “I wouldn't recommend you… to my competition”, joked Hotațiu. The fair pricing, quick implementation, and proactive problem-solving made for a smooth partnership. “We were able to create a campaign that was much better than our competitors”. The partnership between West Zebra and Make it Future now continues for new projects.

QR codes used creatively

Automated QR Code campaigns open possibilities that are much more than promotional contents. Whether for loyalty programs, special offers, product education or more, QR code marketing can provide that critical link between physical and digital. And when no-code automation is coupled with artificial intelligence, digital agencies can up their game and deliver individually-tailored recommendations to each shopper. Book a call with us to explore possibilities.

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