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What can you do with QR codes?


What are the possibilities? Well, let’s take a look at where consumers are finding QR codes. They show up in magazine ads, maps, food packaging, posters, leaflets, business cards, emails, websites and on the sides of buses. With these vehicles in mind, the current technology could be used in the following manner:

  • Encode contact information or a short white paper on the back of a business card. This enables a paper to digital transfer of information.
  • Enable an easy connection by a mobile device to your website. You could also encode a map with directions for company visitors, or encode company information for display in Google maps.
  • Track print-based media effectiveness—tracking which ad or poster drove traffic to custom landing pages. Users can also interact with other printed media such as offers on paper-based gift cards and coupons. QR codes can be printed on receipts with additional offers, or provide customer service contact information.
  • Users can also interact with digital advertisements. For example, they can scan digital coupons and discount offers on a webpage. You could also place QR codes in an email newsletter for additional offers or for event-based information.
  • You can develop loyalty programs—providing special offers on landing pages from paper-based content that is not accessible from any other source. You could push consumers to a website to view the daily offer, to see if they won a free prize or perhaps to participate in a contest. You could also conduct surveys where a user scans one of multiple choice codes and the select response is automatically sent back to the company.
  • You can enable product purchase offers, and provide easy access to product information and reviews. You can also provide easy connections to down load applications and content. You could also register a bookmark, append a QR code to a tweet using Bit.ly or encode access to a special webinar.
  • You could print codes with product or contact information on business swag such as coffee cups, t-shirts and hats. I’ve also seen several examples where a QR codes were tattooed on a man’s arm.

Examples of how a few companies are using QR Codes

Mainstream retailers, manufactures, media publishers, non-profits and restaurants are experimenting with QR Codes. For example;

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods displayed a QR code on the JumboTron during a football game. The fans took pictures of the QR code which connected them to a website where they were offered discounts on purchases.
  • McDonald’s uses QR Codes on its packaging in Japan so consumers can access nutritional information, and review the amount of calories, fat, and carbohydrates in their meal.
  • A couple of years ago, Ralph Lauren began placing QR Codes in print ads, store placements, and mailers. The QR Codes gave consumers access to their style guides, limited edition collections and exclusive video content.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie posters were printed with QR Codes, giving users access to movie’s trailers. The user also received a QR code discount coupon for their next concession purchase.
  • Pepsi printed QR codes on bottles that redirected users to a custom landing page to view content.
  • CSI recently used QR codes as a plot twist in a TV episode.
  • The Nonprofit Technology Network used QR codes to conduct a scavenger hunt at the recent NTEN conference.
  • Google is using QR codes to highlight “Favorite Places” in search results.
  • Editoras Online published a book that contained nothing but QR codes (no text what so ever) that when decoded provided content about love and hate.
  • Audi made a giant QR code out of people holding black and white squares in a video advertisement.
  • Lego created QR code advertisement using Lego blocks.
  • Calvin Klein displayed a large QR code on a billboard that launched a racy advertisement.
  • Real estate agents are putting QR codes on “house for sale” signs.
  • Best Buy has a QR code iPhone app that provides product information.
  • QR codes are showing up on Japanese tombs—providing information about the deceased.
  • QR codes were used in the NBA all-star game.
  • Fox TV is using QR codes to advertise TV programs.
  • Starbucks is using QR codes for micro payments.

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