Reaching a Global Audience With QR Codes

Did you know QR codes represent an opportunity to help your global customers engage with your brand? Here is how you can reach global audiences with multi-URL QR codes.


Effective content localization requires a significant investment of time and resources upfront. But the results can be well worth it. With most consumers preferring content in their native language, companies that embrace localization set themselves up for sustained growth and success.

But then, how do you drive customers to your newly localized content?

Although there are countless answers to that question, we’ve recently noticed a renewed interest in one in particular: QR codes. These scannable barcodes are starting to pop up everywhere. And they represent a huge opportunity to help customers quickly and easily engage with your brand.

What Is a QR Code?

A QR code — short for quick response code — is a two-dimensional barcode. When scanned, users are automatically directed to a piece of digital content (such as a web page, a PDF, or a video) or prompted to take a specific action (like sending a text or calling a phone number). There’s no need to type in a lengthy URL or phone number first.

Simply put, it’s a quick and easy way to transmit information.

While these little codes have been around for quite some time, it used to be that consumers needed to download a separate QR code reader app on their mobile device to scan them. But now, QR codes scans can easily be done by most mobile phone and tablet cameras, which has made using them significantly more convenient.

As a result, customized QR codes are becoming commonplace in today's digital world for big and small businesses alike. Restaurants are using them to direct users to digital versions of their menus — a trend that has accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Museums have put them next to displays to provide visitors with additional information about the exhibits on view. Major retailers are adopting them in their marketing efforts for e-commerce and also as an easy way to accept contactless payments.

The versatility of QR codes means that there are many different ways that businesses can leverage them to reach their global target audiences and drive user engagement.

Multi-URL QR Codes

While there are different types of QR codes, one, in particular, is worth highlighting in the context of localization. Multi-URL QR codes allow you to use one single QR code that then redirects users to specific URLs automatically based on factors such as the customer’s location, their smartphone’s language setting, the time of day, and so on.

For example, employing a location-based multi-URL QR code would mean that when scanned, your users in France, for example, could be automatically directed to your French website while users in China would be sent to your Chinese website.

This provides a convenient and scalable way to ensure you’re providing all of your customers worldwide with a native brand experience.

Reaching Global Audiences Easily With Multi-URL QR Codes

Personalized experiences across languages and regions are made easier with multi-URL QR codes. Of course, the specific strategies you use will vary depending on your product or service offering and how your customers like to interact with your brand. But here are a few ways you can use QR codes to enrich your interactions with your customers and ensure they can easily find and engage with your localized content in their native language.

1. Drive traffic to your localized website.

A multi-URL QR code on printed marketing materials, such as billboards or posters, is a way to let customers know that you offer your content in other languages. Customers and potential customers can scan the code and be automatically directed to your localized website according to their phone’s language settings.

2. Send customers to a specific marketing campaign landing page.

Companies aren’t limited to directing customers to a website. QR codes make a great marketing tool as you can add a URL to any web page or piece of digital content you’d like to feature to send customers to. For example, say you’d like to launch a localized marketing campaign for your customers in Canada and another campaign for those in the United States. You can program your QR code to direct viewers to each page according to their location.

3. Easily direct users to individualized customer support.

Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you. Instead of having them navigate to your Contact Us page and sort through an array of numbers depending on their language preference and location, companies can use QR codes to ensure customers get to the correct support number quickly.

4. Place on product packaging.

Companies that use QR codes may also be able to cut down on packaging and production costs, which often increases as companies expand their customer base and offer products to new locales. Consider printing one single QR code on your packaging. You can program that barcode to direct your customers to view localized product information (such as installation guides for electronic devices or nutrition facts for food products). Plus, if errors are identified, or information needs to be modified, there’s no need to reprint packaging: all updates can be done on the back-end.

5. Track user engagement.

Knowing which customers are engaging with which content and how often is vital for established and new companies alike. But it’s especially critical as businesses launch into new markets and try to attract new customers. QR codes offer the ability to gain more insight into customer preferences by tracking who is using your QR codes and when, making it easier for brands to provide more targeted information in the future.