The first time I saw the QR Code was on someone’s name card, and I thought it was a cool looking thing without understanding what it was for. My acquaintance told me that it was a 2D barcode that could store a variety of information such as contact information, URL, addresses, phone numbers, dates and more. His QR Code printed on the name card carried all his contact information and by using my phone (& a QR Code scanner app which is free) I could scan the QR Code and all the information is instantly available in my phone! It was so easy to keep all the contact information without needing to key them in manually … afterall, how many times do you actually key in all your contact’s information? With the QR code, I have complete information of the person in my phone with just a scan!
A few days ago, I saw a tweet from @SMCPG with a link to an article on QR Code and upon reading the article, I realised that QR Code could be used in multiple ways and is not confined to being used to store personal information only.
Putting on my thinking cap, here’s how I would use QR Code :-
a. Invitation cards to include a QR Code containing date, time and venue of the event. Once scan in, the user can instantly block their calendar via their phone.
b. Advertisements to include a coupon QR Code whereby upon scan in, the user will be forwarded to a coupon page. This coupon can either be flashed at a brick & mortar OR to be used at an online store.
c. Specials QR Code to be included in brochures / flyers and once scan in, it will direct the user to a landing page with a special discount or offer.
d. QR Code with social media IDs like twitter, facebook, linkedin as some IDs are difficult to remember or complex and its easy to make an error. Like most people, whenever I make a typo I will not bother to recheck and try again. Using the QR Code eliminates error.
e. Contact details in QR Code – this is the one that I’ve spoken about above. Add QR Code containing your business information, contact details, website so that the user can instantly keep this information in their phones. You can use it on your name cards, corporate profiles, brochures, postcards, posters and any printed medium.
f. Make sure potential customers can locate your office with the QR Code containing the latitude and longitude of the location.
g. If you run a venue (eg. cafe, training center, hotel) that provides free wifi, you can generate a QR Code that your customers can scan in and obtain the SSID and password.
The pic is an example of QR Code, which I generated using a QR Code generator available for free at http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/ .
This QR Code generator from ZXing Project allows you to create a QR Code that stores (1) Contact information (2) Calendar Event (3) Email Address (4) Geo location (5) Phone Number (6) SMS (7) Text (8) URL (9) Wifi Network. There are other QR Code generators too but I think the above suffice for my marketing needs. In case you are looking for alternatives, you can also try http://keremerkan.net/qr-code-and-2d-code-generator/.
My next project? I need to include my QR Code inside my name card.
After posting this article, @addfrosting sent me a tweet informing me of a QR Code Generator + tracking service that they are offering at www.addfrosting.com . The QR Code Generator generated the below image after I key in my URL. You need to sign up for a account (which is free) and you can start tracking the QR Code you have generated. The stats show you how many days your QR Code has been ‘alive’, how many scans you have today and how many scans you’ve had so far. Besides that there is a neat graphical representation to show you what devices are used to scan the QR Code and where your visitors are from. The stats are real time because as soon as I used my phone to scan in, I checked the Dashboard and it recorded my scan, my device type and the country I am from. Neat stats and information for marketers via the use of QR Code, don’t you think?