In today’s world of technologically facilitated communication and marketing there seems to be no end to the options and possibilities business owners have to connect and communicate with customers.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer rich and rewarding online spaces already frequented by existing and potential customers. Place based applications like Foursquare and Facebook Places offer the storefront business an extension into the internet world of customer relations and brand building. Many of these are untapped by local business while others are being used but not quite to their full potential.
QR or Quick Response Codes are another untapped potential that can bridge the gap between the internet and the place based business allowing savvy customers an augmented shopping experience and potentially bringing new customers in the door.
QR Codes are not new. They have been used very successfully in Asia and most of Europe for a number of years. The technology itself is also not new as QR Codes function similarly to the now ubiquitous bar code we all use to scan prices and keep track of inventory. The difference is that bar codes are generally used in-house and can only hold a relatively small amount of information. QR Codes can be scanned by anyone with a smart phone and one of the many free apps that allows your phone to read the code and connect to the internet.
So what does this mean for business owners? It means you now have a simple, inexpensive way of connecting with potential customers, keeping in touch with and providing added value for existing customers and of course tracking results.
The QR Codes themselves are easy to create and you can have as many as you want. Because they are printable in black and white or in multi-colour they are easy and inexpensive additions to existing print advertising including business cards, flyers, newspaper ads or anything else you can hold down long enough to print on.
The secret to success with QR codes is making absolutely sure they take customers to something of value. There is nothing quite as unengaging as scanning a QR code that takes you to website that isn’t even optimized for mobile viewing. QR code call for creativity, Link them to a how-to video or a game or at the very, very least a landing page that offers something of value in exchange for contact information.
Do you have a QR code? What does it link to?by