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How to Use QR Codes for Mobile Marketing

October 27, 2011 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Time for a pop quiz: what is this thing?

It’s a Quick Response (QR) code. QR codes are similar to standard barcodes retailers use to track and price goods, except they can hold and share much more data. Believe it or not, these funny looking black and white boxes are revolutionizing mobile marketing.

How QR Codes Work

QR codes are activated when they are scanned or read by a mobile device. The only requirements are a smartphone with a camera and an installed barcode reader. Many free QR and barcode apps exist for both iPhone and Android. When you scan a QR code, you can link to many different types of content, including web, video, email, and IM.

Why Use QR Codes?

1. Generating a QR code is not only easy, it’s free
2. QR codes are convenient for users, who can access your content after a simple scan
3. Many QR codes, such as the ones offered by Google’s URL shortener, come with built-in analytics – so it’s easy to track their effectiveness

How to Use QR Codes in Mobile Marketing Campaigns

So we’ve talked about what QR codes do and the benefits of using them, but there’s still the question of what exactly you should do with them. Here are a few examples of how you might integrate QR codes into your marketing plan:

Placement

1. On posters, brochures, and flyers
2. On your business card or an event nametag
3. On product packaging, restaurant menus, and sales receipts
4. On the front of your business (Google Places offers decals)

Link to…

1. A mobile landing page, exclusive video, or your social media sites
2. A map or directions to your business
3. Exclusive coupons, discounts, or giveaways
4. A customer feedback form

For more QR code resources, check out these sites:

1. Moo.com – Custom business cards with QR codes
2. QR Stuff – Free QR code generator
3. QR Code Reader and Scanner – Exactly what it sounds like, for the iPhone
4. Barcode Scanner – A QR code reader for Android phones
5. 101 Uses for QR Codes – If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, this article is full of examples

5 Responses to How to Use QR Codes for Mobile Marketing

  1. Lewis Warren says:

    Very good and clear explanatory post. As QR codes are relatively new, i was briefly aware of what they were and what they could do, but now feel much clearer about them. The possibilities do seem really exciting, and with the addition of individual analytics for each code, it will only help optimise their capabilities and popularity. Defiantly one to keep a close eye on for developments in the future, from both a consumer perspective and business perspective.

  2. Bill Watchulonis says:

    America well the USA is finally starting to catch on as are a few more marketers and they are beginning to follow your well laid out suggestions.

    I find it pretty funny how people still think Quick Response codes are new they were in use in Asia since 1995..developed by a Toyota engineer.

    It still blows me away when i scan a code in a popular high end magazine where the advertiser is investing five or six figures for their moment of fame…….and….then the disconnect…I’m delivered to a non mobile friendly page. All that does is tick off the more savvy smart phone users.

    QR codes and microsoft tags are so useful in marketing and they are really conversation starters.

    Thanks for the post and for sharing the very salient tips.

    Bill

  3. David Urmann says:

    We are going to be looking at QR codes to market our group deals with the plan to offer a coupon that members can spread and then collect points on.

  4. vlad says:

    QR code is a great invention people made. I’m making mobile apps currently and find it really cool to implement QR codes into them. I’m amazed at QR code coupons Snappii app builder allows to create. They are really helpful for small businesses.

  5. Vlad says:

    QR code is a great invention people made. I’m making mobile apps currently and find it really cool to implement QR codes into them. I’m amazed at QR code coupons http://www.Snappii.com app builder allows to create. They are really helpful for small businesses.

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