If you’ve read a magazine, gone to the grocery store or perused a museum lately, you’ve probably noticed a tiny image that looks like this:
Not sure what exactly it is? Read on.
This is a QR Code, or Quick Response Code. Using a special QR code reader on your mobile phone, you can scan this little square to get more information about a brand, event or display. While some of the uses out there are a little useless (I don’t want to scan your code to see another ad of your product), the possibilities of smart uses for marketing are limitless.
1. Real Estate. Ever get frustrated because the little box holding info sheets on a home is empty? Flaretag provides a QR code home buyers can scan for more details on the home.
2. Contests. Whether you’re exhibiting at a trade show or send out direct mail postcards, by using QR codes, you can let people enter a contest easily. Just scan the box and enter info to win. For you, this doubles as your contact database.
3. Funny videos. Some of the only QR codes I scan in magazines lead me to hilarious videos. Like Zappo’s “More Than Shoes” videos. Let’s just say there was nudity involved.
4. Coupons. People like saving money, and they’ll whip out their phones if it means they can save $1 on a brand. If you’re in retail, consider adding QR codes to your product display or in direct mail. The great thing is you can track who uses your coupons and how many were redeemed.
5. Bonus Material. QR codes should take users to something they can’t get anywhere else, like a sneak peek at a movie trailer, behind-the-scenes details on an event, or extra info on an exhibit. Make users feel exclusive.
Tips on Maximizing Your Marketing With QR
The goal here is not to be redundant. In the start of this article, I ripped on brands who invite you to scan their code to go to yet another advertisement. That doesn’t do anything for me. I want something unique enough to dig my phone out from the couch cushion, otherwise it’s a waste of my time.
Experiment with different information. Try a contest one month, then a coupon, then bonus info. See which works the best and build a QR strategy into your marketing plan.
Photo: Flickr user JA_FS. Creative Commons 2.0.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as Mashable, Small Business Trends, FutureSimple, BizLaunch and Lead411. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.