What Are QR Codes?
QR Codes or, “Quick Response” codes, are barcodes that can be read by mobile phones. They allow an interactive element to be effortlessly added to your marketing materials.
A QR Code can include phone numbers, text messages, V-Card data, HTML links or even plain text. Once scanned, your phone or QR enabled device will translate the information and open the appropriate program to use the encoded data. The unique properties of QR Codes allow users to scan codes when they're upside down or even wrapped around a curved surface.
There are many different QR code scanning utilities available for the different smart phones on the market, many of them free. QR codes are extremely popular in Japan (where they were invented), but are just starting to catch on in the US. As they become more popular, more and more users will add theses utilities to their phones, and it is likely that eventually most smart phones will ship with a QR reader already installed.
QR Codes add a whole new level of functionality and marketing to local businesses. Just imagine the possibilities and the advantages this new type of marketing is going to offer you as a business owner. You can use QR codes for all kinds of marketing ideas, and it is pretty much only limited by your own imagination.
How Can You Use QR Codes?
Make your print media interactive with QR codes – QR Codes are the perfect marriage of print and mobile smartphone technology. Users simply point their phone at your QR code and they can can instantly:
- View a web page with more information about your event or product
- Add your contact information to their address book
- Get directions to your location (via Google Maps)
- Receive a text message with special offers, more info, etc
- and more!
Here are just a few of the possibilities:
Place a QR code on an event or trade show banner that will automatically take users to an event schedule, your website, add a video, add to your business card allowing the user to add your contact information directly to their address book, run a coupon offer, whatever you can dream up.