QR Codes: Your Vital Link Between Print & Web

If you haven’t heard of or seen them yet, you must be trying to ignore them! QR – or Quick Response – codes have begun popping up everywhere (I’ve noticed them on package labeling in Wal-Mart so they have definitely gone mainstream). Easy to create and use, you could be missing a powerful and low cost opportunity to connect people with your business or your multimedia online content.

The Basics

Business Cards with a QR Code
QR Codes connect your print marketing materials to web content

Think of QR Codes like a barcode you see on all product packaging. The main difference is that QR Codes are 2D matrix codes that are capable of holding MUCH more information. Consumers “scan” the codes with their camera-enabled smartphone – in other words that just snap a picture. (the software is free online – but most smartphones come preloaded with a QR Code reader.) What happens? Depending on the type of code, their phone will automatically link via web browser to specific online content or activate any one of a number of smartphone functions (such as email, IM, SMS, contact info, etc.). Probably the most basic application is on business cards – take a picture of my business card and it will add my contact info directly into your smartphone’s address book.

How Can You Use These QR Codes?

The possibilities are endless… but the bottom line is QR codes should be a part of any promotions or marketing campaigns you begin. You can print them on virtually anything (all printed materials and signage, as well as anything from t-shirts to car wraps, billboards, etc.) and drive traffic to your website or online content of your choice. What information could you supply via QR Code:

  • Directions to your business
  • Coupons or special offers
  • Free downloads
  • Feedback forms
  • Product information
  • Instructions for product use
  • Event promotions or announcements
  • Sign ups for giveaways or mailing lists
  • Price lists
  • … you get the idea – any information you want people to access

A Case Study: Putting QR Codes to Work

Check out this link to read about how CENTRAL PARK IN NYC incorporated QR Codes into the heart of their events for Arbor Day this year. This example really got my mind working about the many ways these codes could be used to promote any event or marketing campaign. Very soon, consumers will begin expecting to find these codes as a way to get the information and opportunities on any purchases they make, or any places they visit.

We have more information on QR Codes at our website… check it out! Talk to us at ImageSmith for great ideas and practical help in getting started with QR Codes in all your promotions.