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All QR Codes are NOT Equal: Static vs. Dynamic Codes

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RedBullMost of the time when someone makes the decision to use QR codes in their marketing or advertising they assume all QR codes are built equally.  They then search out a free QR code builder, connect their preferred landing page and call it a day.  Unfortunately many people don’t realize that the vast majority of QR codes are limited in their capabilities.  The phrase “you get what you pay for” applies here.

Usually the type of QR code you get when you use a free (or even some paid) QR code builders is what you would call a “static” QR code.  What this means is that the code cannot be changed once published.  If you made a mistake on your code too bad, you can’t fix it.  If your promotion has changed, or wish to change the content, you are out of luck, you can’t change it.  If the season has changed and you wish to adapt it your QR code again unfortunately you cannot do so.  You have one shot to get your code right, so it better be perfect, that includes predicting all future needs—an impossibility.

The alternative is spending a few dollars on a QR code builder that creates “Dynamic” QR codes.  The difference here is that a dynamic code lets you make changes.  No matter if you simply made a mistake, or you wish to change the special offer you might be highlighting, or you wish to re-direct to a new website, or whatever, changes can be made whenever you need.  This is a huge benefit and makes the dynamic code far more valuable, since it is far more adaptive to your changing needs.

One other key difference between static and dynamic QR codes is the former does not let you collect the data you might want for your QR code campaign, the dynamic code meanwhile lets you collect whatever data you desire.  This again makes the dynamic code far more valuable since it allows you to see what is and isn’t working and adapt your campaign to this information.

To illustrate the difference, let’s say you run an advertisement and use a static code.  You link the code to a coupon for 20% off.  Assuming you didn’t make any mistakes with your landing page (you wouldn’t be able to fix it if you did), the QR code serves its purpose for that say two week period you were planning on offering the promotion.  But what happens when those two weeks you wished to run the promotion are up?  You still have QR codes out there offering the coupon.  Your only choice is to shut down the linked landing page.  But this sometimes is not possible and also means you now have useless QR codes out in the world on your advertisements.  You also have no idea if your code was worth the hassle since you can’t collect the data.

But if this were a dynamic QR code as soon as the two week coupon promotion period ended you could switch the code to a new promotion or link to some non-coupon material, or another special.  Your QR code content remains relevant to your needs and usable for consumers.  In addition, you also can see how your codes worked and with this information perhaps you make changes into what you are offering and improve your QR code campaign in real time.

The dynamic code is really the only way to go, and it is certainly worth the money.  So the next time you plan on using a QR code make sure you find a company that offers a dynamic code rather than just a static code.  It also helps if said company provides you with an easy to use platform to make the necessary changes and provides the analytics tracking for you to adapt your QR codes as you see fit.

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About The Author:

Tim is an established sales & marketing professional, assisting Quick Fuse Media with discussions on mobile technologies and best practices.

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