I recently attended a great seminar from John Foley, CEO of Grow Socially, about emerging technologies in mobile marketing. Specifically, John talked about the importance of QR Codes.

By now, we all know what QR Codes are, but just in case, QR code stands for quick response code. A QR code can be accessed via a mobile phone to deliver information to consumers through a smart phone device.

Some things about QR codes that I didn’t know:

1. The US Postal Service offers discounts for those companies that use QR codes in their direct mail materials.

2. Make sure that you use a short link (i.e., bit.ly) when creating your QR code. The longer the link the more complicated the QR code, and the harder it is for smartphones to read.

QR Code Ideas for Contractors

Not using QR codes yet? If not, here are some ideas for you to chew on.

1. Put a QR code on your business card.

2. QR code on your trucks that takes customers to a special discount page.

3. Use a specific QR code in every piece of print material you have. Not only can a QR code provide an incentive for action, but you can track the effectiveness of individual ads.

4. QR codes on all outdoor signage (except for billboards).

5. QR codes in your direct mail or door hangers.

You can measure a number of things with QR codes, including the number of scans, what location or geographic region the person scanning was from, as well as who the person is if you directed the consumer to a specific landing page.

Right now, most consumers are not using QR codes (yet), but the mobile savvy audience is using QR codes in droves. I personally use QR codes a few times a week right now. This will only increase over time.

What we do know is that the mobile internet usage should eclipse desktop internet usage by 2014. That means more people will access your website through their smartphone in just a few years. Since that is the case, now is the time!

Joe Pulizzi is CEO of SocialTract , the leading blogging and content service designed for service companies. SocialTract is part of the Content Marketing Institute , which runs the largest international content marketing event, Content Marketing World (Sept 6-8, 2011). Joe is also co-author of Get Content Get Customers, which details how companies can publish content to drive revenues. He will be speaking at HVAC Comfortech in Indianapolis this year. Joe can be reached at joe@socialtract.com.