By Dean Opriasa
Go ahead…Scan the code above. QR codes aren’t new by any means; in fact, they have been around since 1994. What are QR codes you ask? They’re those square "bar-codey" things you see popping up everywhere. The 2 dimensional (Quick Response) bar codes have had practical uses on product labels, but what is relatively new is the use of QR codes in marketing.
Do you ever find yourself giving strange looks to the people who whip out a flip phone or non-smart phone? With more people using an iPhone, Blackberry, or Android, more and more businesses are using QR codes to take advantage of this technological advancement.
“Quick Response” codes are appropriately named for its almost instantaneous reaction. Snapping an image of it printed on a product or a label immediately connects you to a website with more information. If you think about it, QR codes are in and of themselves the key that unlocks digital content. Simply put, it is a “bridge” to a site that when scanned with a capable mobile device, takes the customer beyond what is it printed on. QR codes must point to content that is suitable to the mobile user. Offering coupons and other incentives for customers is a great use for them. The relevance of the content is vital to the customer’s experience.
Essentially, using QR codes rely on having a strong strategy for engagement with good, relevant mobilized content. QR codes are proving to be versatile and simple to use. QR codes can be found anywhere and everywhere and are being implemented fast! Look around and you’ll find some creative uses for QR codes with several industries having already adopted the technology.
Ever had a dish so pretty and yummy that you have to know how it’s made? Some restaurants have used QR codes to show videos of how dishes are prepared. Those watching their figure can also benefit from QR codes with some restaurants using them to direct customers to a nutrition site showing them the information they crave. Finally, some restaurants use QR’s to go green! Save paper and use a QR code for specials for the day or upcoming specials!
Some agents have used QR codes to link potential buyers to listing websites, agents’ contact cards, virtual home tours and maps of listings. In using QR codes, it gives home buyers immediate information on properties.
QR codes make print advertising more relevant. A customer sees an advertisement with a code in a magazine, scans it, and now the ad comes to life and takes them to a video about your product. It makes an ad more personal and engaging. The print ad now has the ability to “talk” to the readers.
Just as with Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and any tool, app or new technology, someone will adopt it quickly and make it work while others will simply use it just because. One of social media’s goals is to educate users and customers about you or your brand. You do that well, and in a fun way and you’re golden! Remember, Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshiped.
Have you used QR codes for your brand? Share your insight and tips on how to use them in the comments below.