Taking Your Business Online Using QR Codes

QR codes can be a decorative as well as functional addition to packaging.

Let’s start with why you might want to do that in the first place. Simply put, tons of people are opting out of print and into online media. Does this spell the end of printing? In my opinion, it does not. But what it does mean, as I see it, is that there are new ways of marketing a brand and companies want to learn more about them.

At the recent graphic arts trade show—Graphics of the Americas held this past month in Orlando, FL—a printer told me he was going to sit the new media tools out until it was obvious who the winners would be. We were in a crowded space with lots of people around, so I did not feel comfortable saying much in response other than, “You may want to rethink that idea.”

The problem with sitting on the sidelines is the parade goes by without you. The reaction wasn’t noteworthy, but what is of note is how fast things have changed in just the past 24 months. The advent of QR codes, for instance, is a great example of one such new marketing phenomenon.

QR Codes: What are they?

QR Codes are those funny looking squares that you see popping up on direct mail pieces, packaging like in the picture above, posters at business conferences and a host of other marketing applications. If you are a printer who has been watching this newer technology progress and hasn’t joined in, you may be missing out on an excellent way to build your company’s overall brand awareness. In Japan and Europe, by the way, QR codes are already quite common.

They are now becoming more popular in the U.S. in various print marketing applications. They’re simple to use with a camera phone that has the ability to scan the QR tags via a downloaded app that is installed on a smart phone. When a snapshot is taken, it triggers a Web page to open in the phone’s browser and display the creator’s contact information, marketing messages, etc.

Tom Marin is the managing partner of MarketCues.com and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.

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Comments
  • http://RaminZamani Ramin Zamani

    Well said, Tom.

    And as always, the early adopters will benefit from the less competitive market conditions. Opportunities are huge and every day a new and creative use case for QR codes is being introduced.

    In one of our client’s case studies of a recent cross-media marketing campaign they had launched for a university student recruitment program, 20% of the students who responded to the direct mail came through the QR codes!

    The applications are so easy to implement, and the demand is on the rise. There’s really no reason for print and marketing service providers not to take advantage of the opportunity.