Let’s start with a quick overview of the basics of, followed by some simple practical examples of how real businesses are currently using QR Codes.
What is a QR Code?
Quite simply, a QR code is a barcode that can be scanned by a mobile phone. It contains a link that takes the user directly to mobile content. The link could be to a website, a video or sound file, could prompt the user to enter an email address,go to a social media website, or trigger a text message.
The acronym QR is for “Quick Response” and it is quick in the sense it can be scanned quickly.
How do I read a QR Code?
You will need a QR reader on your smart phone – on my Blackberry I am very happy with QR Code Scanner Pro, and on a iPhone you could try Redlaser.
In order to make a QR Code you will need a QR Code generator (free) and you can either use services like free Kaywa service or if you are familiar with services like bit.ly then you will see in addition to shortening your links it will also generate a QR code.
Simple ways your business can use QR Codes
Put a QR Code on your van
Electrical contractors William Dyer Electrical UK Ltd have put a QR code on the livery on their vans.
Scan the image on the back of the van whilst you’re waiting in queue of traffic, and the landing page you go to is a very simple mobile friendly page with essential details, including these guys to your phone address book:
Put a QR Code on your Powerpoint Presentations
Put a QR Code on your Powerpoint slides linking to additional information, making it easy for delegates to download your slides or get additional information.
Use a QR Code on your pop up exhibition stand
We have put our Hallam QR Code on our exhibition stand, with some clear text telling folk to Scan This for more information. It has been a great conversation starter, and a reason for potential customers to stop and talk with us.
Put a QR code on your printed materials
A QR code can provide handy additional information in support of your marketing activities. Consider putting a QR Code that links to your blog, or to your Facebook page, or to your CV. I see QR codes everywhere:
- your business cards
- your company brochure and catalogues
- on envelopes and letterhead, and even on the PS in your letters
- in store displays
- your printed advertisements
Put your products where your customers are using QR Codes
Tesco have piloted a revolutionary service where they have created a “virtual shopping mall” in a Korea underground station. They’ve lined the wall with images of their products, and whilst waiting for the tube, travellers can scan the QR codes of the products they want to have home delivered. Tesco have turned the drudge of grocery shopping into an activity that appeals to Generation Y.
Use QR Codes for additional production information
Would you customers like additional information without necessarily asking you directly, or at a time when it is most convenient for them? Consider making additional product information available via a QR code, for example in this used car lot:
Sponsor a team? Put QR codes on their kit
The British Olympic Volleyball team sponsors have strategically placed a QR code on their… uniform. The positioning of the QR Code is designed to be located in a position that commands attention. Ahem.
Estate Agents using QR Codes
British estate Agent Barton Wyatt are including QR codes on their “For Sale” signs, with a link going to property specifications, quotes, community information, virtual tours and property pictures . In an ideal world, the link will go to a mobile friendly website, with a one-click telephone link that let’s potential viewers get in touch easily.
Put QR Codes on Cupcakes
Why? Just… because.