QR codes have come to the forefront since the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for contactless information acquisition. Think of the NHS Test and Trace QR code, or how most restaurants now require you to scan a QR code to view a menu – they are everywhere.
Marketers need to keep up with trends, and QR codes are another trend it would be risky to ignore. Your potential customer can find everything they need to know about you, just by simply scanning an image on their smartphone. Medical device marketing is no different, and QR codes can come in particularly handy in this industry where potential customers are always looking for more information about your device.
We’ve laid out everything there you need to know about QR codes, and how you can incorporate them for success in your medical device marketing.
What are QR codes?
QR code simply stands for quick response code. They tend to be small images consisting of black boxes on a white background that can be scanned on a smartphone or other device to return an online destination – similar to clicking on a link, except that QR codes provide more possibilities because they can be printed.
They have risen in popularity in recent times, but they aren’t a new thing at all. In fact, they were invented in 1994 as a way of tracking vehicles, but their ease of use has seen them make their way into mainstream culture.
How do QR codes work?
A QR code is effectively an encoded piece of data that a smartphone can read and translate to producean outcome, such as taking you to a webpage, or transferring data when you are checking in somewhere. Each of the black squares, technically referred to as data modules, contains a certain piece of information, smart phones and optical devices are able to translate them back into their original form.
Static QR codes vs. Dynamic QR codes
When looking at creating your own QR code you may come across the terms “static” and “dynamic” codes. The difference between the two is very simple. You are able to change the final destination of a dynamic QR code, whereas a static QR code can’t be changed. This means that if you print a lot of materials with a dynamic QR code on, you will be able to change where that QR code leads without having to reprint, but with a static code, you would have to reprint if you wanted the code to lead somewhere else.
You might use a static code for a short-term campaign, for instance, a webinar or event registration, but for larger campaigns, you may want to use a dynamic QR code. Dynamic QR codes are especially important in medical device marketing as you want to ensure that you are keeping your offering fresh with updates from clinical trials and changing regulations.
How do you scan a QR code?
The beauty of QR codes is how easy they are for people to use, as long as they have a smartphone – and who doesn’t have a smartphone these days?
Many phones now have a QR code scanner built in, meaning on iPhones and newer Android models you only need to open up your camera and hold it over the QR code until it focuses. A notification will then appear asking if you would like to open the link, simply click that and you’re done. On some models, such as the Samsung Galaxy series, you may need to select the QR code scanner in the camera settings and enable it, before you can use it.
If your phone doesn’t automatically scan with the camera, you may need to download a QR code reader app and follow the instructions that it gives you.
How to create a QR code
You don’t have to be an expert with computers in order to make a QR code, there are plenty of websites that will handle the hard stuff for you – many of them are even free. We like to use QR Code Generator because of how many options it provides and the level of personalisation you can include on your landing page when somebody scans your QR code. For instance, you can make virtual business cards, a page that links to all of your social media pages and a feedback collection form, among many other choices.
Although QR codes are incredibly easy to make as a result of sites like this, you need to ensure you focus on things such as the amount of information you are including in your landing page, as this can affect the look of your code and increase the time it takes for smartphones to read it. For example, the more information on your landing page, the more data that is added to the code making the finished result bigger and more complex.
How QR codes can be used in medical device digital marketing
Despite differing regulations, medical device marketing can benefit from traditional digital marketing tactics and QR codes are a perfect example of this. In the medical device industry, your target audience is probably always looking to hear more information about your company and device before they are ready to purchase, QR codes provide an easy way for you to facilitate this.
Physical marketing materials
When creating brochures and leaflets, you may struggle to condense down everything there is to know about your medical device into just a few pages. You may feel like you’re not doing your device justice, but QR codes take away that pressure. By providing a QR code, you can cover your main points within the leaflet or brochure itself and direct your readers towards the QR code for further information.
You are able to physically get in front of your audience in print, but also direct them to somewhere virtual where you are able to expand and divulge a lot more information – without the worry of it making your brochure too long.
Packaging provides a great opportunity to not only build your brand awareness by including your branding, but also to improve your overall user experience for your customers. Medical device packaging is an extension of the medical device itself.
QR codes can improve your customer’s experience by providing useful accompanying information. For instance, you may want to link off to your IFUs or video instructions. It’s all about improving a customer’s overall experience, as happy customers are more likely to return and buy from you again.
Event stands pose a similar issue to your physical marketing materials, in that you are trying to fit a large amount of information into a small space, whilst
trying to make yourself stand out from the rest of the crowd. Not only could a QR code be used to send people further information about your device on your website, but you could also create a QR code that links directly to a video – for instance, you may want to show off a demo of your device and explain how it works. Using a QR code makes this easier than ever.
Say and do more with QR codes
As you can see, QR codes present lots of opportunities to engage your audience in new ways that allow for improved interactivity. It couldn’t be easier to start creating QR codes of your own.
At Podymos, we understand the value of knowledge. We dedicate time each week to learning something new, to keep us sharp and ensure we always produce our best work. Over the years we’ve learned a lot, so why not share it?
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