You may have seen these strange little square boxes popping up in town, on name cards, magazines, shopping windows, product packaging, clothing tags, billboards, and even on T-shirts and stationeries.
These called QR codes short for Quick Response codes. Sometimes they are referred to as 2D Bar codes. They were first developed in 1994 by Denso- Wave Corporation in Japan.
These codes are readable by QR barcode readers and camera phones. Why do you need to know about QR codes? They can hold lots more information and marketers are using this tool reach prospects and consumers, to brand and provide information.
Japan, Korea and European countries have already been using these. US and the rest of Asia is now picking up in adoption rate. QR scanning is most definitely on the rise.
According to this info graph put together in Jumpscan, there is with a 1200 percent increase in scanning from July to December in 2010 alone. That is very healthy adoption rate.
Not only are the big brands are using them to assist with marketing efforts, small businesses and local businesses are also using them in all kinds of new ways to reach consumers.
This info graph is compiled by JumScan, more information at Mashable. You can scan the AR Codes here and see hos this works.
Most often these QR codes bring you to the company’s product websites or to user review pages that gives information that helps you decide whether or not to buy a particular product or not.
I have my QR code on my business cards so my contacts only need scan the code instead of having to type in long URLs on their tiny QWERT keyboards to get to my site. And once it is scanned, it remains in their phone – I don’t run the risk of them misplacing my business cards.
Offline groceries stores and food brands are also using these codes on the actual fruits and wrappers. One scan and you can see relevant nutritional and/or ingredient information about the product. Clients appreciate having more information before they make the purchase and these codes direct them to sources of data.
Business will display more QR Codes as there are more smartphone users. I saw it recently in a popular shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur on the front panel window of the store. Having a QR code alone may not increase your marketing effort but incorporating it into your total marketing plan will certainly make a difference.
Do you have a QR scanning application installed on your smartphone? You can download your bar code reader here, and it’ll decode these QR codes when you scan them with your phone. Try it.
Looking for more traffic to boost sales? Are you using yellow pages or newspaper advertisements?
How are these media working for your?
I have just made a short 5-minute video that may be helpful to you if you are looking for more media coverage or branding.
Don’t worry, if you do not know “how” to do these. Learning about these can take time and it can get a little overwhelming sometimes. But I can show you how tap into these benefits by showing you the 20% work that gives you the 80% of the benefits. And better yet get them done for you.
Just see if this synergistic marketing mix is for you.
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“Checking In” is a phrase that we will hear more often as Google Latitude joins Foursquare and Facebook Places in tapping into Location Based Social Media.
Let’s see. Facebook expanded its ‘Deals’ feature beyond the U.S. to Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK on 31st Jan 2011. These ‘deals’ allows mobile users to find discounts at nearby stores.
Google Latitude which was introduced back in February of 2009 added ‘Check-Ins’ to its function on 1st Feb 2011. Hmmm, seems like the big players are intent on making local deals part of this location based game.
Here’s a video that shows how Latitude works
I think Google Latitude has quite a bt to catch up with Foursqare and Facebook Places in this aspect but some uniques features which differential Latitude from Facebook or Foursquare include a notification feature that reminds you to check-in, or even automatically check-in for you at designated places and an automatic check out program for commonly visited places.
And instead of getting badges or becoming a mayor (as is the case in Foursquare) you become a VIP or a Guru in if you use Latitude. By the way, Latitude taps into Google Places, Maps and Hot Pots making this a complete Google suite for LBS. It will be interesting to see how mobile users choose between these major players.
Whichever player you choose when you are on the go with your mobile device, one thing is clear. As more people use smartphones and get into the habit of using social local searches (hot pots and what nots), a new way of marketing is emerging.
Many local businesses are now seeing the importance of being found and seen on local searches. They are getting themselves ready to tap into this new wave of location based social media. Claiming your local place and setting up specials or deals is gaining importance. If you are a local business, my guess is that you will want to get ready for this new wave of marketing.
If you like to set yourself up on local searches and location based social media, you can grab a free copy of Mastering Social Media In 1 Hour A Week or join us at the Synergy Marketing Pro Facebook Page where we have regular updates, tips and resources. Traditional marketing works and (not but) you’ll also want to get ready for local, social and mobile marketing to promote your products and services. Drop by for a no obligation chat – all you have to do is set aside time.
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