Mobilizing Your Business with QR Codes

August 18th, 2011

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Happy summer! We hope you’ve been out and about enjoying the warm weather. Even while we’re all on the go, with the growth of the mobile revolution we can connect to each other and our audiences like never before and the latest development in that technology is the QR code.

QR Codes and the Growing Mobile Market

QR Code on a Business' Storefront

QR Code on a Business' Storefront

QR codes come to us from Japan where they are already quite popular. These square pixilated bar codes serve as a way for smartphone users to flash a code – on a window sign, brochure or bus stop – with their phone and instantly be taken to a website or other hub of information. Countries in Asia, and the Netherlands, are already in advanced use of QR codes, but will they catch on here?

35% of US adults use smartphones, according to latest July 2011 Pew Internet Project findings. Google just purchased Motorola and is now poised to improve in and invest in the Android market. Big brands like Ralph Lauren and SIEMENS have already run major marketing campaigns utilizing codes. These signs could indicate that QR codes will catch on in the US but only time will tell.

Why and How to Use QR Codes

Unless and until the technology really catches on, developing a marketing strategy around QR codes may not be useful for some small businesses. The greatest use of QR codes that we see for our clients are for the small businesses we work with who have a youthful or highly tech-savvy target market, or those who are in the food and hospitality industry.

The food and wine industry in particular has taken a shine to QR codes. Tourists and passersby can scan a code on a window sign and read reviews of a restaurant. Wine lovers can scan a tag on a bottle or a point-of-sale display and be taken to a mobile-friendly website about the wine. Or an advertisement in a local magazine could link users to directions to the winery’s tasting room.

While there are many potential uses for QR codes the biggies are:

  • Take users to a mobile-friendly webpage
  • Open a Google Map Location
  • Take users to Yelp or Google Places review page
  • Send users to a landing page with a coupon
  • Send an e-mail or text message

Airlines are even using them as digital boarding passes. As with all web related technology; the possibilities are literally endless.

If your interest is piqued, you can generate your own QR code here: and start experimenting with this new technology.

QR Codes and the Growing Mobile Market
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