First of all what is a QR code? A QR (Quick Response) Code is a scannable/readable barcode that allows you to share text, data or a URL with your customers. Anyone with a camera-enabled smart phone (iPhone, Android, etc) and a QR Code reader can participate.
There are 3 elements to using QR Codes for marketing:
1/ Customers with a smart phone and QR Code reader
2/ Free or paid application to create QR Codes
3/ A compelling reason for QR codes to be used that your customers/potentials will be willing to scan and participate in.
If you’re thinking that QR codes require technical skills to use, think again. They are relatively easy to use, free and painless to create. QR codes also allow you to track the results of your marketing efforts.
Google automatically creates a QR code image when you use their url shortener that provides tracking capabilities. The QR code image can then be saved as an image file and added to a flyer or website for both online and offline marketing. The shortened url can also be used in social media on Facebook and Twitter, etc. Another great and free QR Code creation tool is MyQR.co also with tracking capabilities and lots of features such as customizing colors for branding purposes.
Digital advertising is growing by leaps and bounds as smart phones become more affordable. As people are turning to their smart phones to source and locate information on the go based on their location, QR codes are gradually becoming an avenue for businesses to offer discounts, deals or a freebie to attract new and returning customers.
All a customer would have to do is show their QR code on their smart phone when they arrive at the establishment to claim the offer or be taken to a website on their smart phone to take advantage of the offer. You could walk into a place of business, see a QR code on an item, scan it with your smartphone, and immediately have access to a lot of information electronically.
If your customers fit into the iPhone/Android user category, they are likely to adopt QR codes now or in the future. QR codes are a great way to collect leads, enhance your customer experience, offer discounts, promotions and special offers and can also be used to provide additional content, guidance or education.
QR Codes could be used at:
- The back (or front and back) of your business card
- Your brochures and other marketing materials
- Convention and event nametags
- Restaurant menus
- Event ticket stubs
- Point-of-sale receipts
QR Codes could link to:
- Directions to your business
- Valuable coupons and special offers
- Recommendations for complementary products and services
- Customer feedback forms
QR Codes could initiate:
- a url link to a website and promote it to the world
- a VCard capturing your business details
- a text message
- a phone number to promote to people to openly call you on
- a SMS message
- an email so people can get in touch with you or your business
When you register your local business with Google Places, you’ll receive a decal for your place of business that includes a QR code to your company website. Be sure that QR code links to the most relevant information that potential customers are interested in – such as hours of operation and current specials and offers.
The potential of QR codes are endless as more people begin to adopt it into their marketing efforts and daily lives.
(update: We just added our own QR Code generator for use here )