According to comScore, in June 2011, 14 million mobile users in the US scanned a QR code on their mobile device. QR (Quick Response) codes are becoming more and more popular since their introduction in the United States. They hail from Japan where they are used quite liberally. Some experts say that the trend might reach the same popularity, but only time will tell.
The study also analyzed the source and location of QR code scanning, finding that users are most likely to scan codes found in newspapers/magazines and on product packaging and do so while at home or in a store.
What are QR Codes?
QR codes look like UPC codes but they are capable of storing much more data as well as alphanumeric characters. You scan the codes with your mobile devices by snapping photos with a QR code reader.
QR codes are used by companies to market their businesses and extend the reach of their brands. When a customer/prospect scans the code with their mobile device, the code will reveal information the company adds to it. This information can be text or a link to a website or custom landing page. The marketing possibilities are endless.
How are marketers using QR codes? Here are some cool and inspiring uses and strategies:
Don’t forget to click the images for more information about QR codes!
Clothing of all sorts have become a popular background for QR codes. Hats, belt buckles and even tattoos are making an appearance.
Use QR codes on envelope labels to display additional business information when you mail out letters and advertising media.
Businesses are using television commercials to advertise special coupons in QR codes.
Bluefly.com used QR codes during a 45 second commercial for “The Real Housewives of New York City”. Scanners would be linked to a special video episode and given a discount coupon of $30 off $150 at Bluefly.com.
Creative uses of color and style applied to QR codes:
This advertisement for Pepsi Max uses the QR code as an integral part of the ad. It is creative and isolates the code enough to draw attention to it.
Real estate professionals use QR codes to link to special websites or contact information.
Some realtors use QR codes to link to additional property photos viewable while a client is on the property. It can also be beneficial to display additional rental information and apartment specifications. Using QR codes for contact information is also a great way to get scanners to bookmark it and save it for future use.
A stylish example of what you can do with QR codes on an ordinary business card.
A creative representation of how QR codes can enhance your products:
The Montreal bakery, clever cupcakes, used QR codes on edible materials. Bakeries are now starting to adopt these methods and using edible QR codes to send customers to a Facebook fan page or coupons for future visits.
Coupons and special offers are one of the most popular uses for QR codes.
Restaurants can use QR codes on offsite ads to display special coupons and also to link to their menus. QR codes, in these cases, are great tools to display information that wouldn’t normally fit on a standard advertisement space.
Music downloads appeal to the entertainment lover and offer a chance for artists to showcase their music.
Rock star Mickey Hart offers free music downloads to his fans. At his gigs, he hands out music cards with QR codes that link to free music.
QR codes can link to additional product information in retail stores.
Stores like Verizon and Best Buy are already taking advantage of QR code technology. In the store, they use codes to link to user guides and additional product information that can be bookmarked for later viewing and shared with others.
Tip: Remember to make the information behind a QR code interesting enough to bookmark, share or keep customers coming back for more.
You should also link to a mobile website or web page. It’s very important to design a mobile experience for your customers/prospects since the platform calls for it. Also, send scanners to a landing page with a specific purpose. It should include a video, coupon or exclusive information only available to the person who scanned the code. This will increase your success rate.
There are literally hundreds of creative ideas and uses for QR codes. Have you used QR codes? What is your experience?