Authority Marketing for professional service providers

What is a QR Code?



They've been around for several years by now . . . QR Codes are those squiggly square two-dimensional codes that can be scanned  by the QR Code reader on your smartphone. You may want your QR Code to direct people to your website, your business phone number, or your email address. It can link to most any online content.


QR Codes were developed back in the nineties by a subsidiary of Toyota in order to track automobile parts more effectively. Since they are two dimensional, unlike codes commonly used in retail they hold more information. They aren’t the only two-dimensional codes in use today though, Microsoft has codes they call “tags”, and there are others, as well. 


Microsoft tags can be created in a variety of colors and designs. Originally, QR Codes were black only, but now there are many colors and creative possibilities. 


They can now be created with a more 'artistic' and unique appearance. You can have your logo inside and choose any color you like. Caution, though, don't pick beauty over substance. QR Codes exist to perform a function.


In order for them to deliver results, there needs to be plenty of contrast in the color of the code and the background. Always, always, test thoroughly before you print multiple copies. If your printer will be doing it, ask for a trial sample before ordering a package of hundreds or thousands of brochures or other business marketing documents.


Two dimensional codes are used often to integrate mobile and offline promotions. There are many possible uses, from printing them on business cards to making them a part of artwork in posters or even on clothing. Some people even get QR Code tattoos. Often they’re printed on the outside of envelopes, shipping boxes, on brochures, or any number of other business documents.


In mobile marketing, they are often used in magazine, TV, or brochure advertising, frequently as click-to-call or click-to-website application. When the smart phone QR reader is unable to pick up the code, it’s often because the print resolution is too low. Always check to ensure your QR Code works as planned to safeguard your marketing plan and avoid wasting money. You may want to check with your printing service provider to confirm they use a high resolution printer - which they probably do at this point.


Local businesses are beginning to use QR Codes on printed materials, though they could be more attentive to whether the content scanned can be easily seen on a small mobile screen without the need to scroll horizontally. This brings up the related need for every businesses to invest in a mobile website. Bob Parsons, CEO of Go Daddy posted on his blog about that urgent need on January 5, this year (2013).  


As a novelty, QR Codes  attract attention and curiosity, but they need to fulfill their purpose in order to be effective - the novelty will wear off as people become more used to them.


Real estate companies use QR Codes to help clients easily review properties for sale. They can be used in conjunction with ‘augmented reality’, which is a fascinating and evolving technology. When it is further developed and able to be commonly consumed in the mainstream, there should be multiple applications in which to use it - it's going to make an awesome addition to the marketing tool belt.


Sometimes parks with riding or walking trails place a QR Code on an entry sign that informs visitors how long the trail is and other facts about the vicinity that would previously have been printed on the sign. With the QR Code, the visitor has the information with them as they continue on the trail. It saves on paper flyers, which, of course, don't hold up well outside in wet climates.


The fact that Google isn’t using QR Codes (originally, they were included with verification of Google Place Pages) as they once did hasn’t lessened their popularity in marketing, art, and other niches. They’re also used in industry for their original purpose – to store data. Stores use them on product tags, and consumers practice price comparisons while shopping.


As with all other online and digital media, you get valuable feedback from using two-dimensional codes in your marketing . . . analytics of who clicked on it or followed through with a phone call or email. Whidbey Marketing Maven can set up your QR Code and suggest marketing strategies you can pursue that will set your business apart from others by using it.


If you happen to be in real estate or auto sales and you're paying for QR codes and replacing them each time a home or auto sells - you don't have to continue doing that! Ask your local marketing specialist about 'Dynamic QR Codes, instead.


With a Dynamic QR Code, you can change where it leads. This change can be reflected by the minute hour, day, week, or month. They're great, whether you own a restaurant and want your customers to easily be able to bring up your daily specials, or, whether you are a realtor and want to provide a convenient service allowing house hunters to see your current updated listings.


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