From the coffee shop on the corner to the park’s pondside benches; we can all connect to some sort of Internet capable, wireless web matrix. Whether on our laptops or on our phones, we constantly have access to the web at our fingertips. Hyperlinks populate the Internet’s landscape, sprinkled throughout the web’s innumerable site pages, blog posts and videos. These hyperlink connectors link users from reference point A to information point B, providing a quick and easy transition between related information resources. However, just as the desktop gave way to the laptop and the cell phone to the smart phone, the concept of hyperlinking is now undergoing a revolutionary transition into a smarter, more user friendly and interactive tool. Today, hyperlinks are moving offline. The newest wave of hyperlinks – QR Codes – connect the electronic world with the real world. QR or Quick Response Codes are two-dimensional barcodes that, when scanned by a smartphone, bring a customer to a related online resource, such as text, photos, videos, music or product specific URLS.
tying real world objects to online concepts
Forward thinking businesses, organizations and celebrities are already using QR Codes to reach customers.
Here are five ways to make QR Codes work for you:

  1. Contact Information – Imagine this: you just met a potential customer. They’re interested in exactly what your business offers and they want to exchange contact information. A QR code placed on your business card allows your customer to instantly download the who, whats and wheres of your business in a simple, phone-operated card scan. Now, you will never have to worry about that person misplacing or mis-entering your information and the likelihood of follow-up contact automatically increases.
  2. Video – Today’s ad campaigns typically integrate both interactive and static pieces. Let’s say you have a great magazine or newspaper ad for your company and a great video – how do you ensure your customer sees both? QR codes allow you to bridge the media gap and connect the dynamic with the static. Codes make even a little clip go a long way.
  3. Social Media – By connecting offline business and social media, you add value to your brand and increase your ability to reach consumers. Linking your QR code to your organization’s Facebook page or Twitter profile allows you an additional opportunity to drive brand engagement and product updates.
  4. Coupons – Consumers love discounts but hate overly aggressive spam marketing. QR codes on product marketing materials like P.OP.s give customers the tempting, total engagement control they crave.
  5. Website – You’re not open 24/7 but you don’t want to disappoint customers who want your products after hours. Create a QR code to put on your stores’ signage that when scanned, will take customers to your website or e-commerce portal any time of day. Increasing your web traffic also increases your ability to show customers what your business is all about.

scan away
Scanning a QR code is a deliberate consumer action. Reward customers by tying these codes to worthwhile information – don’t waste your patrons’ time.
At this early juncture, not all customers have a thorough understanding of QR codes and what they do. Educate them on how to scan the codes and use them correctly to ensure measureable results.