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Creative Marketing Uses for QR Codes

Posted on February 2nd, 2012

Have you seen these odd looking shapes before?

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Most likely you’ve seen them on movie posters or magazine ads. Although similar, these symbols are not bar codes or UPC symbols. This funny looking square of black pixels is called a ‘Quick Response Code‘ or ‘QR Code’ for short.

If you’re unfamiliar, A QR Code is a simple ways for people to quickly interact with web based content through a mobile device. QR Code usage has increased greatly in recent years due to the wide-spread public acceptance of smart phones. Nielsen recently released a study revealing that 43% of all U.S. mobile phone subscribers own smart phones. For subscribers between the ages of 25 – 34, that percentage goes up to 62%. All of these phones are capable of scanning QR Codes.

The process for interacting with a QR Code is simple:
1) Download a QR Code reader app on your smart phone. You can easily find them in the appropriate app store for your iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile phone, etc. Some cost money but there’s really no reason to pay for one. The free ones work just fine.

2) Now, when you see a QR Code, bring up your QR Code reader app on your phone. Next, scan the image, similar to taking a picture (many of these apps scan as soon as the QR Code is in focus), and you will be taken to web content through your mobile phone such as a web page, contact information, images, etc.

QR Codes are simple to make. You can have someone make them for you or create them yourself for free. Just google for ‘QR Code generator‘ and you’ll have plenty of good options. You can generate QR Codes in different sizes and you can also brand QR Codes with different symbols and colors. Be careful though, if you change up too many of the pixels the QR Codes won’t be scannable. Also, some QR Code readers have a difficult time with QR Codes in different colors. Just be sure you test your final product with multiple devices and apps.

So, now that you know what a QR Code is and how to make one, most likely you’re next question is – “What can my company actually do with QR Codes?”

Here are some ideas and creative suggestions on how your staffing company can effectively use QR Codes in your marketing efforts:

Magazine and other print ads. QR Codes are a great way to bridge your offline and online marketing efforts. Simply add a QR Code into any print material you produce and you’ll be able to instantly share web content with your audience. The best part? You now have an even easier way to track the success of these print campaigns.

Company feedback cards. Looking for mobile customer feedback? Create some feedback cards with QR Codes to hand out to your customers. You can create cards to ask for company wide feedback or employee specific feedback. Hively even provides each of your team members with a QR Code rating snippet option. Printing these out lets your customers provide feedback on employees at ticket counters, trade shows, temporary assignments, or for wait staff at restaurants.

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Business cards. Placing a QR Code on your business card is a great way to present a more interactive connection with someone you just met or a new customer.

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Poster displays and clothing. Next time your at a trade show try placing QR Codes on all of your posters, display materials, even company clothing (shirts, hats, etc.)

Event marketing. The next time you’re participating in or putting on an event, consider places you could add a QR code. Everything from leave behinds to print outs of our slides make great places for QR Codes.

Where should your QR Codes link to? Thought you’d never ask! Here are some suggestions on where you can link your QR Codes to for the best results:

  • Your company website
  • Your company Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social pages
  • Web contests, games and referral programs
  • Exclusive content
  • Special coupons or discounts
  • Targeted landing pages – especially ones with forms to help you generate new business leads.
  • Company contact information.
  • Personal contact information. QR Codes can do more than simply link somewhere. They can actually store data like your personal contact information. This way, when someone scans your QR Code, all of the contained contact information is instantly pulled into the contact list on their device.
  • Downloadable content like a white paper or infographic.
  • Your job board. Recruiting new candidates? Handing out cards and promo items with QR Codes linked to your job board is a great way to get the attention of new candidates on the go.

Two final tips when it comes to QR Code marketing.
1) Be sure any web page you bring someone to from a QR Code is optimized for mobile devices. Using a mobile marketing tactic like QR Codes and asking people to engage with you through their mobile device, only to bring them to a web page not optimized for mobile devices is a major fail.

2) Don’t put QR Codes in your email signature or on a web page. No one is going to scan an image on a web page with their mobile device – just to go to a web page. Please just don’t do it. Please.

QR Codes are an excellent marketing opportunity for your company. There is also a lot of supporting data out there suggesting QR Codes are here to stay and rapidly gaining in popularity/usage. Think of QR Codes as a perfect way to bridge your offline and online marketing efforts.


Helpful links and Resources:

QR Code Apps:

QR Code Generators:

Creative examples of QR Code marketing:

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