QR Codes: Passing Fad or Brilliant Marketing Tool?
Somehow, the best marketing tool of the online era is still flying under the radar of many small businesses. QR (Quick Response) codes are a two-dimensional type of barcode, originally designed by a Japanese auto maker to revolutionize the manufacturing inventory process. These powerful little gizmos have an almost unlimited ability to assist any business in tracking and improving a variety of processes, however they really shine when used to help with marketing efforts.
So, how do they work? Well, let’s start at the end and work our way back. For marketing purposes, QR codes are read by your prospect or customer using a smartphone application. ScanLife (http://web.scanlife.com/us_en/), QuickMark (http://www.quickmark.com.tw/En/basic/index.asp) or Optiscan (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/optiscan-qr-code-scanner-generator/id304099767?mt=8) for the iPhone and Barcode Scanner (http://www.appbrain.com/app/barcode-scanner/com.google.zxing.client.android) or the Google Goggles (http://www.google.com/mobile/goggles/#text) application for Android are just a few of the many options available. You include a QR code in your marketing materials, on your business cards, or on promotional items, and when your prospect scans them with their mobile device, it directs them to text, video, photos, music, or even a URL of your choosing.
The obvious advantages include the instant access to your content and the convenience of not having to write down (or try to memorize) a phone number or web address for later use. Many potential customers are lost every day to the lag between exposure to your brand and the time it takes to get to a computer or phone. QR codes let you take that lag out of the equation. They are extremely cost effective, simple to use, and almost limitless in their potential.
You can generate your own QR codes easily, quickly, and cheaply (can you say, “FREE?”) using a code generator such as KimTag...