Cracking the ‘Code’
April 29, 2011 8:50 AM
Tagged as e-websmart, marketing tips, QR codes, Quick Response codes, technology trends
As a Web site design firm, we struggled to embrace the funny-looking codes we started seeing on ads for makeup, high-end jewelers and music artists. No color … no design element … and how distracting! Sooooo not what we do here!
But what we came to find out is that while Quick Response Codes, or QR Codes, are a little lacking in the aesthetics department, they pack quite a marketing punch.
First, though, let’s talk about what a QR Code is: Created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, a QR Code is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones (we commonly refer to them as Smart Phones). The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.
Now, how do you use a QR Code as a marketing tool? You use a QR Code to help generate buzz about your business and brand, just like you do with your other marketing efforts. A QR Code is really the link that brings people to the marketing materials you have already created. For example:
- Business cards: Use a barcode that directs scanners to your website or Facebook page.
- Marketing materials: Add QR codes to your printed marketing materials to direct them to online videos, photos, special promotions or giveaways.
- Signs and storefront windows: You can use this code to encourage Fousquare checkins, point scanners to your Yelp profile, or invite customers to share memories in photo, video or text form via Stickybits.
Do they work? Here is a great graphic that answers that question with a resounding ‘yes’. The graphic has a bunch of QR Codes that you can scan for more information. What a great way to drive home the point! The one statistic that jumped out to us is that there was a 1200 percent increase in QR Code scanning between July and December 2010. We think a statistic like that moves it from the fad category straight into the here-to-stay category.
Think about how QR Codes could work for your business or organization. What product or service could you use a QR Code for? It’s time to start “thinking outside the funny-looking box!”
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