What is a QR
They've been around for several
years by now . . . QR Codes are those squiggly square two-dimensional codes that can be scanned by the QR
Code reader on your smartphone. You may want your QR Code to direct people to your website, your business
phone number, or your email address. It can link to most any online content.
QR Codes were developed back in
the nineties by a subsidiary of Toyota in order to track automobile parts more effectively. Since they are two
dimensional, unlike codes commonly used in retail they hold more information. They aren’t the only two-dimensional
codes in use today though, Microsoft has codes they call “tags”, and there are others, as
Microsoft tags can be created in
a variety of colors and designs. Originally, QR Codes were black only, but now there are many colors and creative
They can now be created
with a more 'artistic' and unique appearance. You can have your logo inside and choose any color you
like. Caution, though, don't pick beauty over substance. QR Codes exist to perform a function.
In order for them to deliver
results, there needs to be plenty of contrast in the color of the code and the background. Always, always, test
thoroughly before you print multiple copies. If your printer will be doing it, ask for a trial sample before
ordering a package of hundreds or thousands of brochures or other business marketing documents.
Two dimensional codes are used
often to integrate mobile and offline promotions. There are many possible uses, from printing them on business
cards to making them a part of artwork in posters or even on clothing. Some people even get QR Code tattoos. Often
they’re printed on the outside of envelopes, shipping boxes, on brochures, or any number of other business
In mobile marketing, they are
often used in magazine, TV, or brochure advertising, frequently as click-to-call or click-to-website application.
When the smart phone QR reader is unable to pick up the code, it’s often because the print resolution is too low.
Always check to ensure your QR Code works as planned to safeguard your marketing plan and avoid wasting money. You
may want to check with your printing service provider to confirm they use a high resolution printer -
which they probably do at this point.
Local businesses are beginning to
use QR Codes on printed materials, though they could be more attentive to whether the content scanned can be easily
seen on a small mobile screen without the need to scroll horizontally. This brings up the related need for
every businesses to invest in a mobile website. Bob Parsons, CEO of Go Daddy posted on his blog about that urgent
need on January 5, this year (2013).
As a novelty, QR Codes
attract attention and curiosity, but they need to fulfill their purpose in order to be effective - the novelty will
wear off as people become more used to them.
Real estate companies use QR
Codes to help clients easily review properties for sale. They can be used in conjunction with ‘augmented
reality’, which is a fascinating and evolving technology. When it is further developed and able to be commonly
consumed in the mainstream, there should be multiple applications in which to use it - it's going to make an
awesome addition to the marketing tool belt.
Sometimes parks with riding or
walking trails place a QR Code on an entry sign that informs visitors how long the trail is and other facts about
the vicinity that would previously have been printed on the sign. With the QR Code, the visitor has the information
with them as they continue on the trail. It saves on paper flyers, which, of course, don't hold up well
outside in wet climates.
The fact that Google isn’t using
QR Codes (originally, they were included with verification of Google Place Pages) as they once did hasn’t lessened
their popularity in marketing, art, and other niches. They’re also used in industry for their original purpose – to
store data. Stores use them on product tags, and consumers practice price comparisons while
As with all other online and
digital media, you get valuable feedback from using two-dimensional codes in your marketing . . . analytics of who
clicked on it or followed through with a phone call or email. Whidbey Marketing Maven can set up your QR Code and
suggest marketing strategies you can pursue that will set your business apart from others by using
If you happen to be in real estate or auto sales and
you're paying for QR codes and replacing them each time a home or auto sells - you don't have to continue doing
that! Ask your local marketing specialist about 'Dynamic QR Codes, instead.
With a Dynamic QR Code, you can change where it leads.
This change can be reflected by the minute hour, day, week, or month. They're great, whether you own a restaurant
and want your customers to easily be able to bring up your daily specials, or, whether you are a realtor and want
to provide a convenient service allowing house hunters to see your current updated listings.
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