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November 2010
“Point, Snap & Connect.”
By Kip Cozart

Instant Marketing with QR Codes

 

     QR Codes (Quick Response Codes, QRCs) are a relatively new, 2-dimensional form of barcodes suddenly getting a lot of buzz here in the states. Already very popular in Europe and Japan, businesses and consumers throughout the U.S. are discovering hundreds of exciting uses for this flexible, convenient (and free) information connection. If you don’t know what all the buzz is about yet, maybe it’s time to learn how your business can take advantage of this emerging portable marketing tool. Think “QR Codes.”

 

How QR Codes Work… QR Codes can be displayed almost anywhere. They can be found on printed literature, business cards, highway billboards, product packaging, advertising banners and more. They can be inserted into digital signage and even screen printed onto apparel. QR Codes include embedded text information, web page links and simple programming commands that directly connect customers to timely information about you, your business, and your products or services.

     Using a mobile “smart phone,” equipped with a built-in camera, customers simply snap a digital photo of the code symbol. Then a free, downloadable QRC “reader” interprets the code and initiates one or more actions, such as accessing a Web page or online map using the phone’s Web browser, displaying onscreen text information, opening an e-mail delivery (mailto) form, sending a (SMS) text message, dialing a phone call or other actions.

 

What QR Codes Do for the Customer… QR Codes are fast, easy and portable sources of additional information. When something catches the eye, simply “Point” the cell phone camera and “Snap!” The symbol is captured and saved, triggering a direct response “Connection” through the reader application. There’s no need for the customer to type in a Web page address or remember a phone number to get more information.

 

What QR Codes Can Do for Your Business… QR Codes can be your on-demand sales and customer service representatives. Display text messages (up to 1,000 characters), exchange vCard (virtual business card) information, initiate a phone call, link to prerecorded audio or video, collect customer “loyalty points,” facilitate online purchases like e-tickets, and easily perform other customer interactions. You can specify a limited date range to convey your content or provide ongoing access to your information. And, each customer connection can be tracked by your organization.

 

     Further, you can update and personalize information provided at the point of the exchange. Messages can be updated manually or programmed to change automatically based on the time of day, day of week, weather conditions, etc. Many QRC readers can utilize the mobile phone’s built-in GPS locator and customize information based on the customer’s current proximity. Content can be changed by the business any time to take advantage of current weather or business conditions.

 

Sample QR Code Generators:

tag.microsoft.com

www.qrstuff.com

www.snapmaze.com

qrme.co.uk

 

Sample QR Code Readers:

www.maadqr-app.com/

www.quickmark.com.tw/En/basic/download.asp

get.beetagg.com/en/qr-reader/download

www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/

 

Content provided by CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company providing a full array of services to businesses and organizations to enhance and produce effective Web, e-mail, multimedia marketing initiatives and business process improvements. For more information, contact Kip Cozart at 704-543-1171 or visit www.cccommunications.com/resources_articles.cfm.

 

Kip Cozart is CEO of CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company.
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