QR Codes 101: How to Use Them Creatively for Your Small Business Marketing

qr codes for marketing
QR codes for marketing
QR codes are gaining in popularity. Initially used for vehicle manufacturing purpose, QR codes are now widely used in many industries, including the mobile phone industry as mobile tagging and in newspaper publications as IDs.

Not only off line, QR codes can now be found online – on Facebook, MySpace, and other sites (including Noobpreneur.com – please scroll down to this page’s footer to discover our QR code.)

In functionality, QR codes are no longer used as tags or IDs – they can also be used for your small business marketing campaign. All you need is creativity and execution.

But first thing first – what is QR code?

What are QR codes? How to create, read or use it?

A QR (Quick Response) code is a two-dimensional barcode intended to allow its content to be decoded at high speed. Commonly used in Japan, the QR codes went worldwide today (read on Wikipedia for more info on QR code.)

Any data can be stored in a QR: Contact details, URLs, texts, etc. – even your company logo. It’s better than the traditional barcode (one dimensional,) hence more data storage capacity. To get an idea on how the QR code can store data, you might want to try creating a QR code for free on Kaywa.

Just like the traditional barcodes, to read QR codes you need a QR code scanner. Many mobile phone manufacturers today have a built-in QR code scanner, such as Google Android-powered phones. For a complete list of QR readers, you can visit this page.

How to use QR codes for your marketing purposes

To see how powerful QR codes are for your small business marketing campaign, check out this video that pretty much describing how marketing is done via QR codes in Japan (the ads are promoting Disney):

In addition, I have just read this very useful article about creative ways to use QR codes for your marketing purposes. Here are my top 5 from the article:

1. Scavenger hunts

As fun as scavenger hunts can be, destination marketing is a good way to use QR codes. QR codes can recommend visitors to visit certain places.

2. Special promo, discounts and giveaways

If you are, for example, targeting the smartphone users, you can create QR codes containing your business special offers. The QR codes then can be buzzed around the web via social media or be included in your advertisement.

3. Print QR codes on t-shirts

Related to no.2, you can have a huge QR code printed on a t-shirt, and have your staffs to wear the t-shirts in business expos. You can also print a QR code on your own t-shirt to promote your causes, projects, blogs, etc. – the possibilities are endless.

4. Print QR codes on labels

Are you manufacturing a product? Why don’t you add a QR code on the label of your product, i.e. a QR code on a wine bottle that will point to the locations to learn more about the wine, the vineyard, etc.

5. QR codes on business cards

Perhaps not as creative as the others, but QR codes on business cards reduce the urge to put too much information into the business card, delivered in tiny fonts.

Are you using QR codes? If so, do you have any creative uses of your QR codes you would like to share with our readers? Please share yours by commenting on this article.

Ivan Widjaya
QR codes marketing
Image from Webphemera.com