BlogPaula Wickström 03.12.2023

QR Codes in Marketing – Hot or Not?  

Customer experience development Marketing technologies

QR codes arrived in Finland in the early 2010s, but disappeared from the streetscape fairly quickly. However, internationally, various additional information and augmented reality codes have been developed all the time, and their use is increasing again also in Finland. Dagmar’s experts share what marketers should know about the possibilities of QR codes right now.

What is a QR Code and where is it used?

QR, or Quick Response Codes, was developed in the mid-1990s in Japan to improve production monitoring in the assembly line industry. Today, codes are widely used in many industries to make it easier and faster to find information. The use increased especially during the coronavirus pandemic, when the codes could be used to avoid physical contact, for example. touch screens. 

QR-koodeja käytetään pakkauksissa avaamaan haluttu sisältö käyttäjän mobiililaitteen selaimeen.

QR codes are created with generators and can be visually very strongly branded for a company. The codes consist of black and white squares and can store data horizontally and vertically. The number of modules in the code pattern determines the amount of content that opens from the code – the more black boxes there are in the code, the larger files the code can open. Code download volumes and usage data can be tracked, for example, from site analytics. 

QR codes are capable of storing more information than traditional barcodes: text, documents, URLs, contacts, travel tickets, images, and videos. Codes can be used on product packaging, promotional materials, television shows, inventory management, logistics – almost anything. There are two types of QR codes: dynamic and static. Content can be exchanged behind a dynamic QR code in a very cost-effective way. For example, restaurant menus do not need to be reprinted when the menu changes, it is enough to update the website that connects to the code. By including more URLs in the code, the pages behind the code can be scheduled – a limited time limit can be set for the campaign page, or the lunch menu can change depending on the time of day. 
QR codes can also be used to direct customers to social media channels or a free Wi-Fi network – to give feedback, participate in a competition, download an app or get more information. A QR code can be used to quickly pay for a concert ticket or flea market purchase, for example, and they are used for culture, sports events and flight tickets, for example. 

Kiinassa mobiilipeliyhtiö Cygamesin 1500 led-valoilla varusteltua dronea muodosti taivaalle peliyhtiöiden hahmoja vaikuttavina kuvioina. Lopuksi taivaalle muodostui jättimäinen QR-koodi, jota kuvaamalla avautui Cygamesin sisältöä.
In China, 1500 drones equipped with LED lights from mobile game company Cygames formed figures of game companies in impressive patterns in the sky. Finally, a giant QR code formed in the sky, which was photographed to unlock Cygames’ content

How to use QR Codes? 

Using QR codes is nowadays very easy: modern mobile phone cameras recognize them directly, so there is no need to download separate QR reader applications to go to the desired page. Other augmented reality codes are also used in Finland, but many of them require downloading a separate application to the phone in order for the user to access the content behind the logos or images. 

NYC brewery SingleCut Beersmith has a QR code implanted on the label of every beer. Each beer is themed to a well-known song and behind the QR code you can find content related to that theme.

Many instructions for use are behind the QR code found on the packaging, and the QR code provides up-to-date information on the business cards of the company’s salespeople. By scanning the QR code placed on the clothes, the customer can, among other things, check the authenticity or origin of the product, familiarize themselves with the production or redeem the discount. For example, all Zara products have a QR code that can be used to check availability in the online store if the desired size is out of stock in the store, and clothing brand Ralph Lauren offers styling tips for the garment through QR codes. Kesko aims to make responsible fish shopping easier for its customers by adding a QR code to tuna cans to determine the origin of the fish. QR codes can lead to product content, usage tips or, as in Arla’s case: pastures among cows. 

Watch the video: TOP10 creative uses of QR codes

Dagmar survey: 1.2 million Finns use QR Codes every month 

According to Dagmar’s digital media survey conducted in September 2023, 98% of Finns aged 16-69 are familiar with QR codes, 80% have used it at least sometimes, 14% use it weekly and 31% use it at least monthly. 

In Finland, QR codes have become more common not only on product packaging but also in print advertisements, outdoor advertising and TV programmes, but are still underutilized on advertising surfaces. QR codes make it easier for the user to access a website faster than an address, for example. in print or outdoor advertising and create an easy link to mobile content or even mobile conversion. 

QR-koodeja näkee Suomessa mm. printti- ja ulkomainonnassa ja tv-ohjelmien yhteydessä.
QR codes can be seen in Finland, for example, in print and outdoor advertising and in connection with TV programmes.

Do you want a branded QR code for your business and brainstorming help to use it creatively? Contact us and I will pick the best expert for you according to your needs! 


Paula Wickström

Project Manager


Paula, the project manager of Dagmari’s content team, is especially excited about a good customer experience, good insights and the added value that makes the customer feel important. A serial lifter, both at work and in her free time, where she can be found singing or knitting.


Dagmarin Digitaalisen Median Tutkimus syyskuu 2023, kohderyhmä 16–69-vuotiaat, N=500

Dagmar Digital Media Survey September 2023, target group 16–69-year-olds, N=500

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