For those who are unfamiliar, quick response codes, or QR codes, function similarly to barcodes in that they can be printed on virtually any surface. The codes started in Japan and were seen on the sides of buildings, in brochures, and even on the sides of buses. The little codes quickly became popular in Japan, and soon after other countries wanted in on the action. According to the Mobile Barcode Q2 2011 Trend Report, there are 20,000 new QR Code application activations every day. The way QR Codes work is this:
How QR Codes Work
1. Consumers can download a QR code or barcode reader app on their smartphones (many of the latest smartphones already have the app set up).
2. When consumers see the code, they scan a picture of the code on their smartphones.
3. Consumers are then brought to whatever website the code is promoting. In other words, specific companies use these codes to help advertise their products, so each QR code is connected with a company or specific product. In most cases, a company will link back to their website, product or email list.
Many times consumers see advertisements and want to know more information, but simply do not have time to pull out a pen and paper. Even pulling out your phone to type a message can be a hassle when you’re commuting to work, so QR codes truly are the perfect solution. In other words, QR codes are quickly becoming a marketing and advertising department’s best friend. Consider a few of the ways your small business can benefit from QR Codes:
Benefits of QR Codes
1. Pricing—Creating a QR code for your company is completely free. If it helps you put this into perspective, think of a QR Code just as you would think of a URL back to your website. The only difference is that your message will look like a barcode as opposed to a URL, and consumers do not have to write down the address; just take a picture of it.
2. Instant Impression—These codes can leave an instant impression on a potential client or customer because they transfer directly to the person’s phone. With an advertisement on a bus or in a newspaper, you are relying on the fact that someone will write down a website and then go type it into their phone or computer when one is available. With QR Codes, you skip the middle man. It may not sound like a lot, but this will make a world of difference to someone in a rush (and that always seems to be most of us, doesn’t it?)
3. Integration—These codes are a great way to integrate all of your marketing efforts. A QR Code can link to anything a company wants. If you are looking to increase your number of Twitter followers, link to your Twitter account; if you’re looking to promote something special, link to the press release. If you’re looking to promote that special of the month on your website, link to the landing page about your special. The possibilities can really help you target a specific area you want to focus.
How to Create a QR Code
All you have to do to create a successful QR Code is generate a code, make sure that the URL you are linking to is suitable for a mobile phone, and then scan the code. It’s as easy as that! To generate the code, visit quikqr.com, type in the URL you want to link to, and hit “generate code.”