Did you have a top-secret decoder ring as a kid? One of those pens that wrote in invisible ink? Have a special handshake required to enter the neighborhood clubhouse?
QR codes are the 2011 version of secret messages and savvy businesses are using them in all sorts of clever ways to communicate with their customers. You’ve likely seen them all sorts of places but may not have noticed…but you will after reading this!
Here is the QR code I generated to take you to my business page on Facebook. Use the QR code reader on your smart phone and try it.
So why use a fancy QR code rather than just give you the web address of my Facebook business page? Have you tried typing in a long address into your smart phone? Did you end up with typos? How many times did you scribble down a web address or info you meant to look up later and then never got around to it?
Generate your own with your contact information and print it on the back of your business cards or use it in a large printed format at trade shows.
QR stands for “Quick Response” and it allows you to communicate information to customers and potential customers quickly, easily and accurately! Here’s the link I used to generate my QR code and yes, it’s FREE and super easy to use!
Other innovative ways I’ve recently seen them used: A Korean subway platform has a wall mural of grocery items. Commuters scan their “purchases” and they are delivered to their home.
My husband, John Murphy, just finished a Science Fiction novel , “Mission Veritas” to be published as an ebook. On the back cover, as well as at the end of several chapters, there is a QR code. The code takes the reader to “bonus content” not unlike the bonus material provided with most DVDs you purchase.
The codes and bonus content take this from just a SciFi novel to more of a game and engages the reader.
While in Best Buy last week, I was browsing the row of DVDs for sale. There I noticed a few random DVDs with after-market stickers on the front with QR codes saying “Scan the code, Watch the Trailer”.
Yes, codes essentially are embedded web addresses so whatever is on the page it takes them to is what they see, a video, a photo, a coupon or special offer – whatever you can put on a webpage – you can use a QR code to allow customers to access.
Then I noticed something even MORE INTERESTING. There were a LOT of movies I had never heard of and they were MORE MONEY than the blockbusters but they were the ones with the QR code stickers! What better way to sell a movie? I scanned the QR codes and watched trailers right there in the store aisle on my phone and yes, it encouraged me to actually buy a movie I had never heard of and would not have given a second glance to at any price without the intrigue of the QR code.
At lunch at BJ’s restaurant, I noticed the Heinz 57 ketchup bottle had a special label. The front of the distinctive bottle says “Our turn to serve” and the back explains the program and offers a QR code. Heinz has partnered with the USO to send digital cards to service members AND when you use the QR code (which takes you to their Facebook page) and “Like” them, they donate .57 to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Start looking more closely as you go about your daily life and you will no doubt begin to notice QR codes lots of places. Get a QR code reader (free app) on your smart phone and start scanning. See what other companies – large and small – are doing with these codes and then generate your own.
Sure, some of your customers won’t know what they are, others may not even notice, but to the tech savvy and younger customer, it’s the language of the future and you need to learn to speak the code!