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What are QR codes and how can you use them in your marketing campaigns?

This new type of bar code is called a Quick Response code and they are the newest way to interact quickly with a product, service or company.

How do they work? After downloading a free app for their smartphone, your customer simply scans the QR image. The phone will jump immediately to an internet landing page that provides whatever the marketer wishes - a coupon, contest entry, or more information about your product or service.

A recent study by a major marketing company found that:
- QR scanning increased in North American 1,200% in the past six months
- People who are aware of QR codes tend to be more educated and affluent, between the ages of 35-54
- The two main reasons QR codes were scanned were getting a coupon or accessing additional information while away from a desktop or laptop
- 33% scanned to enter a sweepstakes
- 26% scanned to access a video
- 23% scanned to make an actual purchase

How can you use QR codes?
- directions to your business
- installation instructions
- business card/convention badges - easy access to your contact details
- link to wait times at restaurants, car washes
- recommendations for complementary products or services
- the process for hiring your professional services

Before launching a QR code in any campaign, make sure you cover all the basics:
- Not all users will have a code reader downloaded on their phone. Any time you place a QR code, provide a website URL like so they can download a reader to scan the code.
- Don't forget - make sure the QR code goes to a site designed specifically for mobile.
- Follow the success of a QR code with a trackable URL which will provide stats ont the number of QR code scans per hour as well as the devices used.
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