You may have seen these 2-dimensional images at Walmart, Starbucks, on your airline boarding pass, on T-shirts, or even on your favorite bottle of wine.
QR is short for Quick-Response. It is a fairly new concept in the US but is expected to become a marketing trend in 2011.
When you scan a QR code with your smart phone you’re immediately linked to digital content on a web page that gives you additional information about a particular brand.
Some benefits of QR codes
- With the explosive use of smart-phones QR codes are convenient and can be read by millions of consumers without the need for a special scanner.
- Instant information: QR codes deliver to the consumer instant information about a brand or product. In turn the brand is also able to collect information about the consumer who scanned the QR code no-matter where they’re located in the world.
- Printing costs reduced: At a very low price one QR code can be reprinted a thousand times over and distributed across multiple promotion channels. If details of the promotion change, there’s no need to reprint the code, just revise the details on the destination link.
How to generate a unique QR code for your business
There are numerous QR code-generating sites on the web. Some popular ones include Kaywa, Kerem Erkan (for more fancy features), QR Net, Likify (which is specifically used to generate Facebook page ‘Likes’) and many more.
How to read QR codes
You will get more mileage from your QR marketing campaign if you explain to your customers how to read a QR code (remember this is a fairly new concept in the US).
Consumers will need to have a smart phone app that reads QR codes. There are several free apps such as i-nigma for iPhone, Bar code scanner for Android and others. Consumers may also search their smart phones for other free or paid QR code apps.
Where to display QR codes
QR codes are normally incorporated into offline marketing campaigns on printed material. Interesting places to display QR codes include:
- business cards (of course)
- marketing collateral material e.g. white papers
- event tickets
- sales receipts
- product labeling
- store window display
- packaging material
- as stickers on your laptop (great if you work from Starbucks)
- and many more…
Why Should I Scan a QR code?
That’s what most consumers will think when they see one. So give them an incentive to scan your QR code. Next to the image you may display a short message such as ‘Scan this code for a free pastry’ or something relevant to your brand. Try different ideas to see what works best to attract consumers.
What kind of information could QR codes link to?
Be sure to create a designated landing page to link to your QR code. That landing page could contain information such as:
- coupons and special offers;
- free downloads (e-books, music, etc);
- product demos (e.g Realtors can easily provide virtual tours of for-sale properties by adding a QR code to the signage);
- customer feedback forms;
- ‘Like’ our Facebook Page;
- and many more.
QR codes are capable of holding a vast amount of information. I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface as far as the potential they have for marketing and social activities. I’m curious to see where this is all heading.
Over to you: Have you thought about implementing QR codes to your marketing mix?