There’s no longer a digital divide in advertising

A few years ago I blogged about QR codes – what they are and how they work.

At the time, most advertisers weren’t using them much at all, save for some of the bigger outdoor advertisers such as Telstra and a handful of others.

But QR codes seem to have come of age, and they’re popping up everywhere as smartphone use proliferates, especially in direct mail catalogues. And some advertisers are being very smart about how they’re being implemented.

A quick case in point is Aldi. Like most of us, I recently found an Aldi catalogue in my mailbox (okay, I admit it… I have a secret and shameful love of junk mail – forgive me). Being a geek at heart, I noticed that Aldi has a sale on a pretty well-spec’d computer for $499.

They also have a noticeable QR code sitting close to the product and its price. (I’ve also seen ones in Officeworks catalogues as well).


I dutifully scanned the QR code on my smartphone and was taken to a mobile-friendly landing page, which was perfectly optimised for the iPhone. It even had a video demonstrating the product features and benefits. Love that stuff.


The other thing to note about this tactic is the way Aldi’s digital marketing agency can track visits to the page through their analytics platform. They use an analytics package called Webtrekk which looks to have German origins (Aldi is from Germany). This would help them to understand more about the traffic from smartphones to their webpage and how engaging the traffic is.

I’d also recommend to them adding some remarketing codes on this page to advertise to people about the product during the campaign.

If Aldi were to go eCommerce, they’d then be able to track revenue from smartphone and tablet traffic. Nirvana! Perhaps one day they will, who knows?

If you’re running catalogues and you’ve got some budget, throw in some QR codes and direct people to the product landing pages on your website (they don’t have to be mobile optimised, but it would be better if they were).

If you’re using Google Analytics, then use UTM campaign tagging in your link before you generate the QR code.

Here’s how:

First off, visit this link.

This will enable you to generate your campaign tagged link – see below:


Then you take that link you’ve generated (which looks like this: and you put it in your QR-Code Generator (like this free one).


The rest is easy. Put the QR Code into your artwork next to each product, send to the printers and watch the traffic roll in.

To see the results in your Google Analytics account, go to Traffic Sources ? Sources ? Campaigns:


You can typically relay much more information about a product on your website than you can within the constraints of a product catalogue, so why not give it a try?
You’ll either sell more online or more in store. Either way, for a small additional effort you stay ahead of the pack and make more sales.

Chris Thomas heads up Reseo, a search engine optimisation  company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.


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