QR Codes for Retail Stores

Major retailers have embraced the power of QR codes. The edges of Best Buy shelves are marked with QR codes. For each product displayed, consumers can scan a QR code to get detailed information on their smartphones, in the moment.

Home Depot recently introduced a full QR code program, using these digital bar codes on print advertising and in store, as well.

For both these retail powerhouses, the motivation for QR codes usage likely hinges on deeper consumer engagement. Blending useful information with mobile technology makes these chain stores more responsive, helpful and interesting for consumers. The codes link to content that tells a more detailed, useful story in the moment, helping consumers make more informed purchasing decisions and inspiring interaction and response.

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QR Codes Bring City Tourist Attractions Together

How can QR codes help bring city tourist attractions together? Here are some fun ideas to inspire Conventions & Visitors Bureaus and municipalities to consider the unifying power of the QR code.

– Directional information: Use QR codes citywide to offer visitors directions and provide details about what is housed in certain locations

– Cross-promotions: Direct visitors to their next stops through digital ideas offered via QR codes

– Mobile couponing: Inspire visitors to get more involved in the city by linking QR codes to mobile coupons that add incentive in the moment. Offer discounts on admission to museums and events, meal costs at participating restaurants and on souvenirs sold at key locations.

– Interactive promotions: Create QR code scavenger hunts that compel visitors to seek all the essential scans citywide in hopes of winning the chance a unique prize

Look for more ideas on QR codes for tourism, coming soon…

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QR Codes Enliven Printed Materials

In age when the printed page is undergoing a rapid fade as we shift to consumption of digital content, QR codes are a vibrant way to bridge the chasm between printed materials we hold and electronic words we download.

QR codes are a kind of 2-dimensional bar code that brings digital information to the 3-dimensional world. Add a QR code to a page, scan it with a QR code reader on a smart phone and be instantly directed to helpful information on the phone.

Many magazines are featuring QR codes on their printed pages. From editorial content to ads, QR codes are being used to enhance messaging with digital content. QR codes on ads may link to YouTube videos or website pages that offer more detail than the ad format will accommodate. Business cards printed with QR codes link recipients to virtual business cards that can load directly into contacts. Books with QR codes provide extended insights on topics relevant to the subject being addressed.

QR codes help pages come to life and play a continued, valued role in our digital – social – mobile marketplace.

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QR Codes for Trade Shows – A Case Study

Tile manufacturer Crossville, Inc. has introduced QR codes to its trade show strategy. The company places QR codes on product samples available in the ‘Sustainable Samples Kit’ displayed at the booth, as well as on all booth signage and promo panels. Any booth attendee who has a QR code reader on her smartphone can scan Crossville’s codes to retrieve helpful details in the moment.

Crossville began using QR codes at the Greenbuild Expo last November.  Greenbuild provides incentives to exhibitors to encourage them to not bring printed materials to the show. Crossville’s use of QR codes and mobile technology certainly provided an excellent alternative to traditional marketing material. The company was able to provide booth attendees pertinent information without use of costly printed brochures.

This year, Crossville debuted a full system for its QR code usage, powered by QRHere, LLC’s innovative QR code advancements. Through a custom, branded app, Crossville is able to engage booth attendees in the moment and post-show. Because the app marries to secure, online accounts, attendees may revisit their scanned content later online. Essentially, this means that the lead retrieval process is inverted, alleviating effort and cost for Crossville yet provided thorough, detailed, two-way interactions between the company and attendees.

Here’s a quick look at Crossville’s QR code marketing system.

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QR Codes Must Link to Mobile Friendly Content

What’s more important…  The envelope or the letter inside? The power switch or the luminescence of the chandelier? The wind-up key or the song of the music box? The QR code or the content to which it links?

Recently, a lengthy discussion played out in a LinkedIn group focused on QR code usage, on the topic of “designer QR codes.” There was much banter about adding logos, changing colors and imposing unique designs on these functional codes. Many people chimed in about design innovations and what adding graphics might do to the ability to scan codes. And so on. And so on.

Though I love to match my purse to my shoes, I’m really not too worried about coordinating my QR codes with my overall branding.  As new as QR code use is in our U.S. marketing scene, I won’t dare compromise the scanability of a code by adding a logo to the center or some such thing.

Fussing over the look of the code is such an unnecessary diversion from the meaningful purpose of QR codes. It’s like fixating on the light switch rather than polishing the crystals and putting new bulbs in the chandelier. The priority should be the content to which the QR code links. Are we sending consumers to useful digital information? Or are we boring them with scans that go to lifeless content not optimized for viewing on mobile devices? Rather than worry about a designer code, I’ll focus on making sure my content is ready for its close up.

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QR Codes for Real Estate – An Introduction

I recently spoke at REBarcamp, an intensive day of knowledge sharing for those in the real estate business. I was there as an event sponsor and a pro on the use of QR codes for effective marketing. QR codes can play a strong role in modern property promotions and buyer communications.

Here’s a simple presentation I put together as reference for those who attended my session.

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QR Codes – Who Started All This?

Thank you, Denso Wave!

Thank you for (1) inventing the Quick Response Code and (2) not enforcing the patent, so that we can use these digital ninjas openly, easily and universally.

Back in 1994, the Japanese company Denso Wave invented an advanced bar code that holds information in two directions (versus the one-dimensional bar codes we’re used to seeing on labels of cans of creamed corn). Because these interesting, pixelated squares are two-dimensional, the amount of digital data they carry is pretty impressive.One little code can tell you alotta of things with a simple scan by the appropriate scanning device.

Denso Wave drummed up the technology as a solution for tracking parts during the auto manufacturing process, but the company clearly saw the possibilities of QR codes for vast and universal application. Since 1994, Denso has fed the root system to grow this versatile technology while also encouraging its advancement around the world.

QR codes can be scanned and ‘read’ by apps on smartphones. Japanese consumers have had access to and, thus, have been avid users of smartphones for a while now. That means they’ve been able to enjoy the scanning power of QR codes and have long since integrated them into their culture at the consumer level. Here in the U.S., we’re just now beginning to shift the pendulum on smartphone adoption, and, in tandem, QR code usage is nearing a tipping point as well.

I was in love the first time I laid eyes on a QR code. As somebody who gets paid to create digital content and online marketing solutions, I thrilled at the idea of merging my digital creations with the physical world.  Heck, I even structured an entire business around QR codes, I like ’em so much. Understanding the history of the codes gives some good insight as we all join in creating their future.

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