By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

One important development from the pandemic for healthcare marketers has been the renaissance of Quick Response (QR) codes. 

While QR codes have been around since 1994, efforts to make QR codes and QR code readers ubiquitous had never been successful. One effort in particular, the CueCat, was launched in 2003 and burned through $250 million of investors’ money. According to one critic, the CueCat “fails to solve a problem which never existed.” Ouch.

Fast forward to 2017, and Apple’s operating system update quietly enabled you to read QR codes with your camera on your iPhone. Android devices also added this feature in response to the Apple update. All of a sudden we had a hardware solution that didn’t need to look like a cute little cat. It was on the phone we used for everything. 

Then the pandemic came along, and downloading menus via QR code has become an ingrained habit—52% of the nation’s restaurants created QR menus during the pandemic. 

What does this mean moving forward? At Hammock we have launched printed content in the past few months with QR codes that are driving high engagement rates. One client is seeing triple the amount of traffic for app downloads, and triple the amount of traffic into customer service centers.

I honestly didn’t see this kind of success in prior marketing efforts using QR codes. When you combine the ease of the camera phone functionality and customer embrace of the experience, the result is a powerful new tool for you to consider. 

Takeaway: QR codes make print a particularly viable part of your marketing mix when addressing particular parts of the customer journey.

Image: Getty Images

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