Promotional Fun with QR Codes

We’ve all seen odd-looking QR code squares popping up throughout the tech industry, embedded in Sunday fliers and on store shelves.   Go down to the local Best Buy and you’ll find QR codes printed on price tag /product description cards. If you want more information on a product, you can whip out a smart phone, take a “picture” of the code with your QR reader app, and it will translate that into a URL and take you to a web site with more details. See where this is going?
“But you can already do that with URLs!” protests.   Yes, you can, but using a QR code provides another on ramp/interaction point for the next couple of months — until they move from unique to ubiquitous — with the ability to leverage a more immediate interaction between your firm and a customer.   It’s a bit easier to “scan and go” at a desk or kitchen table after picking up the mail than to boot up a browser, find/remember where the URL is at, and then type it in to get to the website — which explains the proliferation of QR codes to stores, restaurants, and promotional mail.QR codes are also starting to appear on junk, er, promotional mail fliers and serve a similar purpose – read the code, go to the website. It is an easy matter to customize a unique URL and generate a QR code graphic, so you can start more easily tracking the effectiveness of specific mailing campaigns.  You can use the QR code to link to a special offer or unique “Easter Egg” surprise web page.

More importantly, using a QR code to convey information serves to more rapidly “embed” it into the customer’s personal portable device — be it smart phone or tablet — rather than relying on the paper-browser-type sequence. Once arriving at a website via QR code, the web page could ask/offer the option to either email the customer the URL as a future reference or to save the URL as a favorite on the portable browser.

I’m not suggesting the QR code will totally displace the URL. It instead provides another mechanism/layer/device to interact with the customer and bring him to information you wish to provide.

On Capitol Hill, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has started providing a QR code on its hearing papers to provide journalists and attendees with direct access to PDF files containing the official written testimony of witnesses.   The press also gets a stack of paper — not so green — but now have the option to quickly grab the PDF document and cut and paste out of it using custom iPhone apps or Android Apps.

Remember to visit for more information on QR Codes and electronic business card management.

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