QR codes are quickly becoming a popular addition to many companies' marketing arsenal. These strange-looking, two-dimensional barcodes were invented in Japan over a decade ago, but are only now gaining traction here in the U.S. Short for "quick response," QR codes enable consumers and companies to connect in new ways. The "code" is embedded with data that, when scanned by a QR-reading device, links back to a website, landing page, contact record, or other predefined digital content.
Accessible by smartphones and other handheld devices, QR codes link consumers to web-based content and resources quickly and painlessly. As a result, companies can now share richer, more in-depth content, without requiring a lot of added real estate on printed pieces, ads, and other media.
QR codes marry print with digital, via the mobile phone. Many smartphones come preloaded with free software for scanning QR codes. For models that don't, there are many free QR code readers available via the app stores of the various smart phone manufacturers.
Since QR codes can point back to any website address, the possibilities for using them are as endless as the web itself. Here are a few ideas to get you started....
- Put a QR code on the back (or front) of your business card. It can be encoded so the person scanning it can automatically receive all of your contact information digitally, so they don't have to enter it manually into their phone's directory.
- Print a QR code on postcard or brochure mailers, and have it point to a landing page with a special discount offer.
- Add a QR code to printed invitations, and point it to a Google map page that provides directions to your location.
- Place a QR code on posters promoting a show, play, or movie, and have it point to a YouTube trailer promotion.
- Print QR codes on product instructional sheets, labels, or decals, and link the code to a website providing more details or a YouTube video showing how the product is assembled.
- Add QR codes to vehicle signs, billboards, TV ads, t-shirts, coffee cups... the list goes on.
- Put QR codes on restaurant menus to provide dietary information for each dish.
- Make the pages of a book come to life with QR codes that provide links to websites that offer more details about the subject in the book.
- QR codes work great for tradeshow booth signs and events.
- Want to bring more traffic to your Facebook page? Create a QR code that points to it, and add it to all of your marketing materials.
The possibilities are truly exciting, and the opportunities abound. So, spice up your next marketing piece with a QR code. You'll be glad you did. And, we do have smartphones, we do scan the code and make sure it is going to the right place BEFORE we print your piece. Attention to detail, yepper. Nothing like QR coding the heck out of your business card, only to have it point to someone else's website. Not going to happen here!