There are many marketing tools at your disposal out there – many applications to help you promote your company – to put you ahead of your competitors.
There’s one application in particular that is able to get you in front of your customers in a whole new way. Do I have your attention now?
That application is quick-response (QR) codes!
First, how about a little background? QR codes were first implemented by a subsidiary of Toyota, Denso-Wave, in 1994. The codes were used to help the company track inventory. Then some very innovative Japanese marketers adapted the codes to be used in their marketing campaigns. The rest, as they say, is history. To this day QR codes are used quite extensively in Japan, and now being used to a small extent in the US. But the use of codes is growing.
What are these codes?
Nemeth (2010) states a QR code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The cool thing is the information encoded can be text, URL or other data. Nemeth adds that QR codes are used for example in commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users. This is referred to as mobile tagging.
Now, sit back for a moment and consider the possibilities of QR codes in your marketing mix? Consider that with the scan of a QR code by a customer’s smartphone that your website may be displayed, a text message, or an email. The codes have the capacity to be very dynamic…they can be loaded with a large amount of layered and valuable information.
Anonymous. (2010), Top 5 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes. [8 pages] Foxy Propaganda. Available: http://www.foxypropaganda.com/qr-codes-top-reasons-to-use-qrcodes/
Burnett, C. (2010 May/June), Calling All Archives. [2 pages] Afterimage. Available: http://proquest.umi.com
Chen, Y. G., Chen, Z., Ho, J., Lee, C. S. (2009), In-depth tourism’s influences on service innovation. [7 pages] International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research. Available: http://proquest.umi.com
Jain, S. (1999). Marketing: Planning and Strategy. Cincinnati, OH: South-Western College Publishing.
K. McKinney (personal communication, November 17, 2010)
K. Nemeth (personal communication, November 17, 2010)
Kroski, E. (2008 July), Getting Started with the Mobile Web. [4 pages] Library Technology Reports. Available: http://proquest.umi.com
Lyne, M. (2009 October), What Is A QR Code and Why Do I Need One? [12 pages] Search Engine Land. Available: http://searchengineland.com/what-is-a-qr-code-and-why-do-you-need-one-27588
Trapani, G. (2010), What Business Card? Just Scan My QR Code. [9 pages] Fast Company.com. Available: http://www.fastcompany.com/1585822/business-card-just-scan-my-qr-codeTweet