A QR Code is Sort of Like a ’69 Charger…

On February 11, 2011, in Local marketing, by Kenton Ross

QR Code for Sample SiteA QR Code is not all that pretty, but it’s what’s under the hood that matters… and this little box has some serious horsepower when it comes to marketing your local business.

Quick Response or QR codes are not new. They were created by Denso-Wave (a Toyota subsidiary) in 1994 to track auto parts used in the manufacturing process.

QR codes are the perfect bridge from the world of paper and ink advertising to the power of flexibility of online marketing. It offers one of the best ways to interact with ‘tech-savvy’ prospects – if tech savvy means having a smart phone. The boom in smart phones and mobile marketing has put a very powerful tool in the hands of the consumer and as one wise marketer said, “Be where their eyes are already looking.”

If you’ve looked around lately, you see more and more people of all ages in the ‘prayer position’ – bent over the screen of their cell phone text-ing or browsing.

So, what can I do with a QR code?

Here a the types of information you can encode in the graphic:

A website URL - This can be anything from your Twitter feed to a link to post a review

Email address - to contact you.

A Map  – How about a QRazy Scavenger Hunt with other types of local businesses in your area?. If every business put up a counter code and promoted it, you would all benefit from each others’ customer base.

Phone – to connect immediately – either to your regular phone number or a tracking number to measure reskponse – just scan and hit the call button.

Mobile Coupon – they scan the code to receive a mobile coupon and present it on their mobile phone when they visit. Keep the code the same and just change the digital coupon.

Text Message – This could text your keyword to a shortcode number to opt-in to your text broadcasting service.

vCard – They can capture complete information about your business instantly and add it to their contacts

YouTube video – No explanation needed about the potential uses for this one.

What is very cool about QR codes for local indie businesses right now is that there are plenty of  mobile devices to make it work, there are readers for almost every phone. Not to mention that it is easy to implement and it’s a great conversation starter when you have one displayed.

Try a ‘Hardlink’ to a Soft Landing Page

‘Hardlink’ is a marketing term for a link that is found in the the 3D world where people live their daily lives vs. a digital link online. The beauty of these codes is that if you use print media like Val-Pak, register receipts, yellow pages ads, etc. you can print a static QR code on the coupon and change the content or offer on the landing page as often as you want. This is great for a things like a restaurant daily special code on a median sign in the neighborhood.

I figure it’s just a matter of time until they show up on Craig’s List ads instead of pictures… Hey, that gives me an idea. ;-)

Next Friday I’ll go into how to generate the code for printed material. If you want to get started on a QR promotion sooner than that and have questions, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

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2 Responses to A QR Code is Sort of Like a ’69 Charger…

  1. tom murrin says:

    Hello Kenton,

    The information that you provide in your weekly newsletter is invaluable..
    Thanks for letting us know more about the QR codes.

    Would love to do the Craigs list experiment to see just how many people come to find us on their smart phones etc.

    • Kenton Ross says:

      Hi Tom, Thanks for the feedback. It is much appreciated.

      If you need some tech support, just let me know. I think there’s a pony in here somewhere. And as for CL, you are the master. I think it would be a fun test. Give me a call.

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