Marketing & QR Codes

The QR Code or Quick Response code refers to a two dimension barcode that can be read by a special application in a camera phone. Depending on the information encoded in the QR Codes, once scanned one can be directed to a website, call a phone number, register in a promotion or some other action.

A QR Code can contain a link to a website, a calendar event like an appointment, contact information or business car, and a location among other information. A marketer can use QR Codes in print media like newspapers, magazines or posters where the codes are usually integrated with images to improve their aesthetic appeal. The codes in such publications when scanned direct a user to a website where they can find more information about a product, although they can also be redirected to an office phone number or some other place.

Marketers can generate QR Codes freely from several online sites and use the codes to market their business. The codes can be spotted in multiple places from buildings, billboards. Business cards, bottles and sometimes even on tattoos but differentiating between a barcode and a QR Code is difficult for most people.

QR Codes have plenty of applications in marketing largely due to their ability to store a lot of information. Furthermore, unlike barcodes which require specific hand held scanners to read them, the QR Codes can be read by many modern cell phones, which makes them more convenient for marketing than the barcodes.

There are many ways in which the QR Codes can be used for marketing. For example, they can be put on bus stops or train stations where one can scan them with their phone and get information like the train schedule, scheduled stops etc. They can also be used in museums and art galleries where they can be placed on sculptures, paintings or antiques to enable viewers to learn more about the paintings by directing them to a site with the relevant information. They can also be used in clubs, bars, or music stores where one can scan the code to gain access to a site where one can buy their favorite music or in elevators or flowers.

The beauty of using QR Codes in marketing is that they are small and can be put close to anywhere, from a matchbox or a stamp to a billboard or building. QR Codes are not exclusive to business or company marketing as individuals can also market themselves. One can link their professional profile in sites like Linkedln to their business cards to enable clients or people with the business cards to be directed to the Linkedln profile after scanning of the code.

Factories or museums and other similar places that attract people for tours can also use the QR Codes as guides. A visitor, after scanning the QR Codes, receives directions on their phones that direct them to places of interest. This saves money that might be spent hiring a guide and also increases flexibility of the tour guides as one can arrive as they wish and start their tour immediately.