Looking to the Future: Building Your Business Growth Strategy with QR Codes

Bigger, better, more profitable: for most business owners, it’s not just a dream — it’s the trio of goals you’ll need to prepare your company for long-term future success. To make these goals become a reality, however, you’ll need to start thinking about your business’s next steps. 

This is exactly where your business growth strategy steps in. Whether it’s a Fortune 500 company or your favorite gelato place on the corner, businesses need to adapt to changing markets, scale up to meet demand, and have plans that will help them adjust to whatever challenges that may lie ahead.

To ensure your business meets these expectations, there’s a whole host of things to take into consideration: from how you market your business and the needs of your customer base to how you can improve the products and services you offer. But whatever form developing growth strategies and plans for your business may take, QR Codes can help you each step of the way, whether you need to generate brand awareness as you enter a new market or delve into product marketing with QR Codes.

First things first, however: before you become acquainted with the specific QR Code types that will help you keep your business looking towards the future, there are a few basics to cover.

What is a growth strategy?

A growth strategy is a plan of action that will help you scale up your business, expand your market share, and prepare for future challenges and needs. This could be through developing new products or markets or looking for new opportunities in existing markets.

In business terms, there are four main types of growth strategies:

  • Market penetration: entering and dominating an existing market with a new product — like Uber turning the market for taxis and cabs completely on its head, for example.
  • Market development: creating a new market for a product or service you already have — consider how far Nike has come from its origins as a sportswear brand to being a lifestyle staple.
  • Product development: broadening the scope of the product or services you already offer. For the gelato stand on the corner, this could mean creating new flavors to attract new customers.
  • Diversification: growing your business by entering new markets with a new product, and doing something completely new. Amazon is a classic example — alongside selling books, the behemoth retailer has a reach into just about everything else

A growth strategy is a simple concept — albeit one that’s easier to define than to put into action. As you’ll see, there are many different methods you can employ for your market growth strategy.

Why is having a growth strategy important?

First, the bad news. 

While you may be eager to get your business off the ground, there are some sobering statistics for budding entrepreneurs to take into account. As many as 20% of small businesses fail within their first year, and even for those who make it past that first hurdle, the fail rate rises to 30% for businesses in their second year of operation.

And the good news?

These numbers may seem discouraging at first, but don’t despair! Just look to the future, and keep the bigger picture in mind. Developing your business growth strategy means thinking long-term — something that will help prepare you for whatever pitfalls and problems that may cross your path.

As discussed, there are four main types of business growth strategies that you can use to build your business. But to implement them in your company growth strategy, there are many different methods you can use. 

From viral loop marketing and milestone referrals to demonstrating how your product or brand has a niche that makes it stand out from competitors, QR Codes can help you boost your growth strategy and make your business soar head and shoulders above the rest.

Growth strategy examples using QR Codes

There are some great examples of creative business growth strategies that today’s companies have used to become industry leaders. Let’s take a look at these growth strategy examples and how incorporating QR Codes into these strategies could help you further step up your game.

Dropbox and the viral loop

Thanks to Dropbox, cloud storage has changed how we use our data. Launched in 2008, the company hit one million users in just one year. But what was their secret to success in such a short period? It’s simple — they used a concept known as the viral loop. 

A viral loop encourages people to use your product through referrals and incentives. It works a little like this:

  1. A user finds your product and tries it.
  2. They are encouraged to share it through a particular incentive — in the case of Dropbox, it offered users a limited amount of free storage.
  3. Users like the product and feel incentivized to recommend it to others in their network.
  4. These contacts in their network sign up and share it with their network 
  5. The loop repeats itself.

Based on a freemium model, the sharing incentive was 500MB for every successful referral a user makes with a limit of 16GB. This worked so well that Dropbox grew by 3900% over 15 months, and using this strategy made them the industry leaders they’ve become today.

How to use viral loop marketing with QR Codes

If you’d like to deploy viral loop marketing as part of your business growth strategy, QR Codes are the perfect flexible, versatile tool that makes it easy for people to access and share your product. 
There are numerous ways you could use a Dynamic URL QR Code to promote your product and incentivize users to download and share it: billboards, posters, or social media, to name just a few. If your product is an app, even better — the App QR Code allows you to send users directly to your product on the App Store or Google Play Store.

App QR Code on a poster ad for a chat company prompting people to scan and get their app
How an App QR Code on a poster ad could look.

Casper and referrals

Direct-to-consumer mattress company Casper wanted to give customers more than just a good night’s sleep — it wanted to shake up the whole industry. To achieve a sharp boost in sales in a short amount of time, it used referrals: giving customers a reward for recommending their product to friends and encouraging those friends to buy via a discount.

How to use milestone referrals with QR Codes

A QR Code coupon is perfect for incentivizing customers with referrals. To encourage customers to make repeat purchases — and to tell their friends — you can share a Coupon QR Code with a follow-up discount after each purchase and use the QR Code tracking data to see where and how your referral program is making an impact.

What role can QR Codes play in a business growth strategy?

From replacing restaurant menus to being the most versatile tool in your marketing arsenal, QR Codes are everywhere. This is good for your business: far from being a niche technology, these little black squares provide a familiar launchpad for customers to interact with your company’s online or digital services. 

Using QR Codes for your growth strategy is sure to pay dividends. When marketing new products or services or advertising your brand’s pivot to a new market, QR Code marketing can help you put your market growth strategy into motion. There are a few reasons why you might want to consider them when you’re thinking about how to develop a growth strategy for your business. 

#1 All-in-one branding

Fully customizable, QR Codes can be matched to suit the overall aesthetics of your business or brand. There are many options to make QR Codes form a congruous part of your overall marketing strategy: custom company colors, adding a logo or CTA, or using a QR Code frame can all help QR Codes blend in with your message.

PRO tip: for some tips on designing the perfect custom Code for your brand, take a look at our guide on different QR Code styles.

The customization interface in a QR Code Generator PRO account
QR Code Generator’s customization software. 

If your business is diving deep into product development for its growth strategy, QR Codes could be the platform to showcase your new offering to the public.

There are a plethora of QR Codes that you can use to enrich marketing campaigns with digital media, including videos, images, events, review forms, landing pages, PDFs, and more. If you need to change the digital material that your QR Code links to, Dynamic QR Codes allow you to edit this without changing the printed QR Code itself.

#3 Easy marketing campaign tracking

For marketers, Dynamic QR Codes are a particularly versatile choice when tracking the success of how your new campaign, product launch, or pivot has performed.

With the Dynamic code, you can access data such as location by city and country, unique vs. total scans, time scanned, and even the operating device used. When you combine these metrics with QR tracking, you can see where your campaign or product is having the most impact.

The tracking metrics for a Dynamic QR Code in a QR Code Generator PRO account: scans by time, operating system, country, and city
Demo version of QR Code tracking with QR Code Generator.

PRO tip: QR Code campaign tracking can be integrated with Google Analytics to monitor the entire customer journey. Check out our guide on how you can set this up. 

#4 Calculable ROI for print marketing

Calculating the ROI (return on investment) of a print campaign is usually more guesswork than an exact science, but with QR Codes, that becomes a thing of the past. 

With the tracking data and metrics you can access with Dynamic QR Codes, you can now see exactly how your intended audience reacts to your campaigns and use it to manage your budget for future campaigns.

An App QR Code in magazine ad prompting people to scan and get the Fashion Fox app
A custom App QR Code in a magazine.

#5 Scale-up internal company processes

As your business grows, you’ll find that your company’s needs will change, too. You might find that you’ll need to create QR Codes in bulk for things like name tags, stock, or technical product documentation. 

Luckily, your company can use Static QR Codes for all sorts of processes (you can learn more about the differences between a Static vs Dynamic QR Code in our explainer). Static QR Codes can be made in large batches with our QR Code API, which is suitable when you want to create multiple QR Codes at once.

A vCard QR Code on a Creative Director's ID badge prompting people to scan and save their contact info
An example of an ID badge with a QR Code

Future-Forward: QR Codes and developing growth strategies

Your business needs to be able to look beyond what your customers want today and adapt to the demands and markets of the future. When entering new markets or brainstorming new products, QR Codes provide the public with that crucial link between your out-of-house (OOH) marketing campaigns and your digital product. 

There are many turns your business growth strategy can take as your company looks to the future. But to ensure that your marketing strategies are equipped to deal with challenges on the way, you’ll need tools that are flexible and versatile enough to adapt to your needs — and for that, you should look no further than using QR Codes for your growth strategy.

Aoife McKeown

Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Aoife has been living and working in Berlin, Germany, since 2012. Her work focuses on creative writing, editing, and marketing copywriting, and she’s currently a Content Writer with Egoditor. Feel free to connect with Aoife on LinkedIn or reach out to her via her website.

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