There is a big marketing rage rippling through the consumer and business-to-business world and it is a simple, but power technology that is know as the Quick Response (QR) code. You've all seen them. They are these quirky-looking mazes of black boxes that work similar to the more familiar linear bar codes that we are so familiar with.
These QR codes are appearing everywhere -- from cereal boxes to advertisements in magazines, on trains, cars, vans, and even in grocery stores and other consumer shopping venues. There is even a t-shirt being circulating by our friends at the Service Roundtable that has BUNCHES of these QR codes printed all over them.
They are targeted toward people who own smart phones and are a quick way to get someone somewhere online. Many manufacturers in our industry are now putting these codes in their brochures, on their product packaging, and on their booth displays at industry trades hows like HVAC Comfortech.
QR codes aren't new -- they've been in use for years. However, in the past year, their use has gone viral as many small businesses are beginning to adopt their use. Why? It's easy and it's free (for now anyway). Most Smartphones have apps that allow the reading of these codes. People just download them, install them, and then use them in the same way they would use the built-in camera on their phone -- take a picture of the code and are immediately transported to a website, a video, a coupon, and so on.
Some of the apps you can download include the following:
You can even use this handy little search engine to find apps that work on your brand of Smartphone. Just click here and look to the left side of the page.
To generate codes is easy too. There are many websites that will let you generate them for free. Here are just a few:
Or you can download software to create your QR codes on your laptop or desktop computer:
Interestingly enough, it can be even simpler than all this. If you are familiar with website URL shorteners like bit.ly or TinyURL, then you don't need any software or apps to generate QR codes. Simply add ".qr" to the end of the shortened link and copy the new link into your browser. The code is generated instantly!!!
As I mentioned before, our friends at the Service Roundtable have been using QR Codes for a while. In fact, you should read Matt Michel's article about them to get even more information on how to use them to market and promote your company, your services, and your websites.
So here's the question: do you currently use QR codes in your business? Want to share how? Just post here in the Discus forum, or you can send your ideas directly to me here.