What are Quick Response (QR) Codes? QR codes are two dimensional bar codes that are frequently used in print advertising or product packaging to provide mobile users with more information about a product or service. A consumer scans the code with their smartphone using QR code reader software (included on most smart phones and available for free via download) and is able to view videos, a mobile website or special offers and/or coupons on their phone.
By now most American consumers have seen a QR code. You may already be familiar with QR codes and how to use them. You may be one of the estimated 70 million American smartphone owners who regularly scan these codes with your phone to get product details or special offers on the go. But are you including QR codes in your own marketing strategy? If not, here are five ideas to use QR codes effectively.
- Include a QR code on your business card and link it to your vCard. When someone scans the QR code with his or her phone, your contact info is downloaded to their phone's address book.
- Use a QR code in your print ad. Link the code to a mobile-formatted microsite or landing page with more information about the product or service you are promoting in the ad. Bonus: set up a survey form to collect information from the prospect about their business goals and objectives. Plan to follow up with them with information on how your product or service can help them achieve those goals.
- Include QR codes on your brochures with links to videos and/or demos of your product.
- Add a QR code to your trade show graphics so that show attendees can scan the code to enter themselves into a drawing or request more information.
- Use QR codes in training manuals or employee handbooks to provide video tutorials or instruction.
No matter how you utilize QR codes, make sure the information you provide is congruent to the mobile platform. Microsites or landing pages should utilize large text and form fields that are easy to navigate on touch screens. Include phone numbers and email addresses so that users can easily contact you directly from their phones. Most importantly, acknowledge the customers and prospects who utilize these QR codes as people who prefer to consume information on the go and utilize the mobile marketing channels to communicate with them whenever possible.