The number of Quick Response codes, (aka: QR Codes) being used for marketing is definitely on the rise. QR Codes are popping up in catalogs, magazine ads, direct mail literature, on store displays, business cards and any number of other places. As a matter of fact, the places QR Codes can be used is only limited by one’s imagination.
Rich Brooks has compiled a rather creative list of 50 Uses for QR Codes which includes using a QR Code as a temporary tattoo that links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts or on fresh produce that could link to information about the farm or best buy dates.
What Exactly Is A QR Code?
A QR Code is a 2-D barcode that is scannable by a smart phone’s camera. It transfers the information embedded in the code to the person’s smart phone. Depending on the type of code it is, it may direct a user to a website, deliver a V-Card, supply business contact information, reveal a product discount code or announce an upcoming event.
To read a QR Code you will need a QR Code reader app. For iPhone users, there is i-nigma, which is the most widely used reader in the world. For Android users, there is Barcode Scanner and Smartphone users can use Red Laser which is a price checking app that also reads QR Codes. I have a Blackberry and love my QR Code reader app, QRthis which was a free download at Crackberry.com.
How Can I Generate A QR Code?
There are many sites out there where you can generate your FREE QR Codes. My favorite is Print It Fast Online’s easy to use Free QR Code generator that lets you choose the size of your finished image. I like Qurify.com and QRStuff.com too. FreeNuts.com also a list of their top ten favorite sites to generate QR Codes.
How Can I Incorporate QR Codes Into My Business Marketing Plan?
QR Codes are still a relatively new marketing tool in the United States, but their use, which originated in Japan, has been expanding rapidly in recent months. Using QR Codes as part of your business promotional plan can certainly be beneficial as the more consumers embrace this emerging technology.
If you feel there is an application for QR Codes in your business marketing strategy, here are some creative ways to incorporate QR Codes into your plan:
- Business Cards. Yes, this is the obvious one, but none the less a stellar idea. Now there’s a way to add links to your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and still have some white space left on your business card.
- SEO. QR Codes work well to augment your website optimization efforts. Build traffic to your site using QR Codes to link to image, video or music content.
- Store Displays. QR Codes can be used two ways here. Inside the store on a POP Display, customers can scan to retrieve even more valuable product information or possibly link to a product installation How-To Video on YouTube. In a Storefront Window, after-hours shoppers are encouraged to shop online by scanning the QR Code prominently promoted and displayed there.
- Trade Show Displays. Incorporating QR Codes into your trade show display gives potential customers easy access to your contact information or a show-specific product or services discount. Sometimes literature gets lost or tossed. Potential customers who scan your info into their smartphones will have easy access to your information well after the event is over.
- Product Labeling. Adding a QR Code to your product label gives consumers another way to gain valuable information about your products and company.
- Contests, Promotions and Events. Create discount codes or promotions that can only be accessed through QR Codes. These QR Codes can be run in advertisements, printed on direct mail literature such as brochures or flyers, posted in your store, or on your website. QR Codes can be printed on a wide range of specialty items such as printed bookmarks or indoor magnets or even T-shirts which can be given to potential customers as a free novelty gift.
- Build Your Newsletter Subscriber List. You can use a QR Code to direct people to your Newsletter sign-up page. Make sure you encourage them with a good reason to subscribe, such as the promise of special sales or discounts only available to newsletter subscribers.
The bottom line is, the uses of QR Codes are quite limitless. Be creative with your promotions and use QR Codes to give your customers a fun and unique way to benefit from your products and services.
- Using QR Codes on Printed Business Cards
- QR Codes On Promotional Brochures and Flyers
- Build Your Business With QR Codes
- How To Use QR Codes for Event Marketing
- How To Grow Your Sales and Revenue Using 2D Codes
- 2D Codes: The Ten Commandments for Marketers