QR Codes: Employ, curate and deploy

October 1st, 2010 by | 2 Comments

Image by Michael Kappel

Mobility, geolocation, real-time news distribution and check-ins are among the newer trends being utilized by many social media marketers in their campaigns. In fact, these tools have been instrumental in carrying out many marketing travails and have brought success to many brands. Today we take a look at the QR code and offer up ideas to help you use it for your campaign.

The QR code isn’t exactly a new concept, having been created in 1994 as the version 2.0 of the barcode and was, up until recently, used to track car parts in vehicle manufacturing sites in Japan. Like its predecessor, it carries information which can be viewed when scanned. Unlike its predecessor, the information it houses is far more expansive, including hidden messages, URLs, mapped locations and SMS messages, among others.

Here are a few suggestions on how you can incorporate it into your on- and offline campaigns.


Marketing Materials

Make QR codes part of your brand development efforts and embed them into your marketing materials. For instance, you can create a QR code that points to your brand’s site and have them included in your standardized company business cards and on the folders and envelopes to be sent to clients.

If you’re holding an event, you can have the code on banners, posters and printed with your press releases. You can also have it emblazoned onto the USB flash drives containing soft copies of your reports and press releases meant to be distributed to your attendees and members of the press.


Corporate Giveaways

QR Code for corporate giveaways
Image by adactio

As introductory gifts to your potential customers or as thank you presents for your new clients, you can do the usual corporate giveaway, only this time you can have QR codes slapped onto your gift items.

Logically, you’d have it link them to your corporate Web site, but you can also direct them to specific pages to target your demographic more.

If your brand is a known distributor of medical supplies, you can give your new clients over at the local dental hospital canvas bags with a stitched QR code that points to the dental products in your domain. Or to a customer-exclusive page. Or to other pages to showcase to them what else you have to offer.

Needless to say, most of the recipients your giveaways would be your loyal clients, other brands you’ve struck deals with in the past—people who already know a lot about your brand. You can still go with the usual QR-code-to-homepage route; think about the people who don’t know about you but would see any of your clients walking around wearing your QR code shirt. On the other hand, you can also get a little creative with the many other things you can get your code to do. You can have the codes on badges, mugs, key fobs, canvass bags or even cupcakes. Just make sure the QR codes won’t overshadow your company logo.

Here are three quick ideas you can start with and develop further:

  • For special deals and product promotions, create specific pages for your brand’s promo and have the QR code point to its URL.
  • For general branding, have your QR code carry your company’s slogan, logo or a map to direct people to your store.
  • Just for kicks, you can be funny and match your online identity by generating multiple QR codes that contain different funny phrases and sayings still related to your brand, product or general business.



QR Code for merchandise
Image by marketrumba

By utilizing QR codes, shop owners, product distributors and manufacturers can give their wares much more context than their product labels can possibly hold.

You can create mobile browser-friendly information pages for every product in your inventory and spruce it up with a clean interface, and add a selection of relevant photos and videos.

This is exactly what The Cellar Key did with every wine bottle having unique a QR codes printed on tags dangling from their necks. When scanned, these provided a lot of useful information about the wine that they sell. This enabled their clientele to make smart purchasing decisions—by reading up on which bottle of wine is suitable for specific occasions and maybe which one would go well with certain kinds of meals and cheeses.

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