What exactly is a Mobile QR Barcode or QR code?
QR means “quick response” or “quick read”. It’s simply a hyperlink for a mobile device that can link to any site, video or information that you want it to. Actually, you are only limited to the use of QR codes by your imagination.By adding a QR code to your marketing and promotional materials like flyers, postcards, mugs or business cards, you’ll create a dynamic interactive experience. You now have the opportunity to combine traditional and digital marketing with the ability to send real-time messages with a unique call-to-action. Bring your marketing communications to life and you’ll see just how effective and engaging QR code marketing can be!When your customers scan the QR code on your marketing or promotional piece they are instantly connected to your mobile optimized webpage on their smart-phones. Now you have an opportunity to engage them with information about your business with videos, special offers, instant event registration, links to your social media site, collect their email address so they can receive future promotions, and even find out more about their likes and dislikes with a mobile survey.QR code marketing allows you to track and measure the success of your promotions in real-time. You’ll know when customers scan your QR code and which offers and messages interested them most. Then, when you’re planning another promotion, you can adjust your next QR marketing campaign to give customers more of what they want as you grow your business.
The Growing Use of Mobile QR Codes
Mobile bar code scanning has increased by 4,549% in the first quarter of 2011 alone. With over 5 billion mobile users – most new smart phones come with a QR code reader already installed. For the rest, they can choose from several free downloadable QR Reader apps. Why are they so popular? Simple. They engage the customer to find out more information about your business in a fun way. QR codes make any print advertising interactive and can be linked to target rich environments where advertisers can use multiple barcodes tied to different campaigns or destinations to engage their customers multiple times. Want to send a customer to your Facebook page so you can get more likes? How about sending them to your restaurant menu? Would you like them to add your contact info to their phone with a click of a button? Why don’t you send them to a video of that car or jewelry you are trying to sell? Interestingly enough, women show a higher interest in using QR codes, accounting for 68% of users. These women are head decision makers and purchasers in households. Is it any surprise that magazines that cater primarily to women are the fastest growing medium for QR codes.
How Many People Use Mobile QR Codes?
At this point in early 2011, most people wouldn’t know a QR code from a barcode. Most aren’t even QR qrious. (snicker) However, QR codes have been spotted on everything from buildings to business cards, wine bottles to Tide bottles, and even as tattoos. This graph from Google Insights shows the surge in searches for “QR Codes”:
In other words, it has the potential of going mainstream, especially with the growth of smart phones which have both cameras (required for scanning the code) and Internet capability. To date, QR codes have been successfully embedded on websites and in magazine ads, direct mail, coupons, email marketing, billboards, in-store advertising and contest entry forms. If you’re considering adding QR codes to your social media marketing toolbox, keep in mind that many of your customers and contacts might not be familiar with the concept. It will be up to you to bring them up to speed, telling them how the codes work and more important, where they can pick up scanner applications for their smartphones. For those who want a QR scanning app for your smart phone, simply check with your provider’s app store for a scanner. These are usually labeled “code scanner” or “barcode reader” and are available free or for a low cost. On the iPhone, for instance, you can get an app called Optiscan or QuickMark, while those using the Android phone, there’s a QR code reader called Barcode Scanner. Blackberry users can upload an app called ScanLife for free.