So What is a QR code & Why Do I Need One?

3 10 2011

There has been alot of buzz about QR codes and the jury is still out on its ability to promote businesses. Since I have had alot of questions about QR codes in my classes, I thought I would pass along the information that I have researched. For the record, I think it is a great marketing tool and I plan to add it to all my business cards and anything else that I print for my business.

What is a QR Code?

Quality Response codes (QR codes) were originally created to track cars during the manufacturing process. Toyota is created with developing this method.

With the rising sophistication of technology, this code now has a wider range of uses which not only include tracking merchandise but also for purchase of tickets for transport or entertainment events, marketing products and to give consumers further product information within a store. These latest uses target mobile phone owners; they can receive test messages or go directly to web site. Users could also create an email or text message after scanning a QR code.

Businesses can generate their own QR codes so that mobile/smart phone users can scan. The generation and printing of these codes can be done very easily by visiting on of many free QR code generating sites or apps.

QR codes can store addresses and URLs that may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, T-Shirts or business cards. Users who have a camera feature on their phones

QR codes storing addresses and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) may appear in magazines, on signs, on buses, on business cards, or on almost any object about which users might need information. Users with a camera phone equipped with a QR reader application can scan the image of the QR code to display text, view contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the telephone’s browser.

It is believed that use of QR codes and other two dimensional codes (which can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information) will continue to grow in popularity. Why? Because users want immediate access to relevant information and QR codes can meet that need.

Because the code can hold large amounts of information, the simplicity of use, and its ability to connect people with each other and data makes it practical for businesses and the consumer.

To generate a QR code, businesses can use a free generator such as Kaywa, a site created by Datamatrix. Businesses can have the code link to a web page, text, or phone numbers.

There are a several  sites for generating QR codes and all are free. Consumers may want to download QR reader apps such as i-nigma (iPhone) or Barcode Scanner (Android).

How can you use QR codes in your business?

Here are some possibilities:
Share videos, web sites, or an eBook
Link to a Like button on the business Facebook page. You can use Likify to create a QR code that links your mobile device to a LIKE button on the page. Good news is that this simplifies merging all your social media with just one click.
Provide consumers with opportunities to receive special offers from your business or to subscribe to newsletters.
Place the QR code on the front or back of your business cards, brochures, T-Shirts or other marketing materials.
Place on the sides of your vehicles
Place on product tags and packaging, convention and event nametags
Add to point-of-sale receipts

Other great uses for QR codes:
Directions for product use or construction

Installation instructions
Places to purchase replacement parts or services
Directions to your business
Coupons or special offers for products
Additional products that would complement the product the consumer may have already purchased.
Customer feedback survey forms

To make sure that you use the QR code technology effectively, you may want to provide information on how to use them to your clients; make sure they understand the ease of use even for those who feel they are technologically challenged. You may also want to experiment with the size, location and color of the code. One more thing: register your business with Google Places and you will receive a decal from Google with a QR code to your company website.




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