How Marketers Can Use QR Codes and QR Code Readers


If QR codes and QR code readers are new to you, now is the time to learn more about these great technologies! There are several apps available for free and for minimal cost to help you navigate the mystery.

QR codes, or quick response codes, seem to be all the rage these days with marketers trying to entice consumers to access additional information on their brands by revealing the data “hidden” behind the two-dimensional bar-codes. You may have seen these unique codes in print advertisements, on in-store displays and at trade shows, but you may not have known what to do with them. It turns out that QR codes have been around since the 90’s in Japan.

“QR code readers and mobile smartphone’s make print-ad marketing fun again” – John Komatsoulis

Tarara Winery in Leesburg, Va. recently started using QR codes on their wine labels. This definitely seems like a practical application. Say you’re out to dinner and you want to remember the wine that you’re enjoying. It’s tacky to sneak the bottle out in your handbag, so snap a photo with your QR code reader and access it the next time you’re at your local wine purveyor.

Did You Know?
There also seems to be an increase in marketers using QR codes in print ads, particularly in magazines. The readers can simply access the QR code readers on their phones and automatically be linked to additional data that couldn’t be included in the print ad. Marketers can track how many people are accessing the additional information and which links they are clicking on by using some basic analytics.

Business cards are a third area where one might need a QR code reader. Consider this: most business cards are only three inches wide. What if you could include access to your entire resume or a company profile by including a small QR code on one side of the business card? Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

qr codes for the cards

QR code reader i-nigma seems to have just the right amount of functionality mixed with ease of use. When you launch the app, it activates the camera functionality required to capture the QR code. There are red outlines on the screen that show you where the QR code needs to be lined up. Don’t worry, though, because the reader doesn’t require that the QR code be zoomed in to fit the box and it can be a little off-center. Once the QR code is recognized, the app launches the super-secret content and allows you to click on any links.

There are several QR code readers available.

If you’re using an iPhone, simply type in QR code in the search field of iTunes. Two QR code readers that have been recommended by Twitter friends are RedLaser (free), which also scans regular bar codes, and Optiscan ($1.99).

Are you using QR codes for marketing? What are your favorite QR code readers?

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