Thursday, June 23, 2011

QR Codes – One More Marketing Tool

imageThis article was written by Barry McKinley, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

You almost can’t go anywhere without seeing QR codes (Quick Response). They are very common in Japan where they were created by a Toyota subsidiary in 1994. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data. The QR code is rapidly becoming one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. It is been designed to be read by Smart Camera Phones or barcode readers. The user merely points their smart phone and scans the code and they are launched into the virtual world. The use of QR codes is free of any license. The QR code is clearly defined and published as an ISO Standard. Denso Wave owns the patent rights on QR codes, but has chosen not to exercise them.

The uses of QR codes in business are endless. You will see their application in magazines, newspapers and used in 1,000’s of others marketing and information tools.


Recently the Pet Shop Boys used QR codes for the artwork of their download-only single release.


Authors are incorporating the QR codes into a new genre called devise literature, writers and publishers are using the graphics to create a bridge between printed and electronic media. A new version of Around the World in 80 Days uses QR codes to provide the readers quick access to the audio versions of the book chapters and to Google Maps. U.S. libraries have begun adopting QR codes as a method of delivering information to patrons via their mobile devices.


QR codes have been used in Japanese cemeteries on grave markers as a way to share additional information and unite mourners. In the U.S. QR codes are being etched into medallions to allow the mourners to get images and video regarding the deceased.


The application is endless! You can place QR codes on business cards, your company literature, signs, point-of-purchase displays, in-store displays, tablets, napkins and buses. You can place them on a display of products that then takes the users to a site about the product, features and perhaps pricing. Other applications might be direct mail, websites, email marketing, trade shows, and even billboards. QR codes can drive customers to your Face Book and even YouTube. You can go to nearly any Real Estate Section of most newspapers and you will see QR codes helping to sell houses.


The QR codes can become one more tool in your sales and marketing bag. For effective results you need to tie together all your tools from your printed literature, web site, social networks, You Tubes and of course the newest technology QR codes. For more information you can go directly to the inventors web site;