If you haven’t already heard of the new craze that’s been buzzing around the office, you’d better get your head out of the Amstrad and onto a smart phone. QR codes are where it’s at. Short for ‘quick response’ code, QR codes are a type of barcode that take on the form of a patterned square and can be read by dedicated QR code readers and more recently (and importantly) by fancy pants smart phones galore.

Even though they have been widely used in Japan for over a decade, QR codes are only now becoming common over here thanks to the availability of smart phones and the innovation of businesses such as ScanLife. This type of barcode was invented in 1994 by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave (thanks Wikipedia) but have yet to reach their plateau due to their versatility. The information encoded within them can be text, data, or interestingly; a URL. To use them, you simply point your camera phone at them, scan with a free AP or downloaded software, and voilá, you’re transported to the website or video link.

This is an interesting tool for businesses and marketers as it bridges the gap between paper and digital space, taking the fuss out of getting a customer to your website, and instantly providing more information about a product or service. The QR codes can be reproduced on any kind of 2D or print media ranging from the humble business card to a road side billboard. Aside from tool, you can also click here for more info on what else can make your business stand out.

While the mechanism is pretty cheap and simple, and people are starting to recognise and utilise them more and more; the crucial element is getting the landing page right. Use the link wisely! Don’t just use it as a ‘digital business card’, there are many more innovations available. Use it on advertisements to promote special offers or events, have it link to a map to your premises or collect customer data through competition entries. Feature Film posters and DVD retailers are using QR codes to drive traffic to movie trailers.

Check this example: Download the ‘Scanlife’ Ap or other QR code reader to your iPhone or SmartPhone and scan this image right off the screen. Hey Presto!

QR Code, Kerbute Productions Showreel

Having a unique landing page for a specific code also allows businesses to measure the effectiveness of a given ad or campaign by tracking the QR code response. Locally, The Metro Herald have reported great reception to the codes since they launched them with their advertisers: “advertisers are seeing 5-15 percent of the overall readership responding to ads. For competitions, the conversion rate was as high as 97 percent. That is 97 percent of those who responded to the ad by scanning the code, went on to enter their contact details and sign up for a competition.”

Use the crafty QR code to help your business stand out from the crowd. With video and broadband becoming commonplace on phones, why not use your business cards to send the client to a snazzy video commercial or memorable product promo, taking advantage of their attention while you have it. Link to a viral commercial from a magazine or print ad and get them to subscribe to your YouTube channel for future entertainment, and from there get them onto your facebook page. You do have a facebook page right? Maximize your business potential by partnering with the Top 20 merchant services.

Contact us now to see how we can help make QR codes and web video work for your business.