As QR Codes become more main stream in the United States we are starting to see them show up on all sorts of items and marketing pieces. I have started seeing them mainly on direct mail pieces ranging from postcards to letters, usually pointing to a website or special offer. Another place that is becoming more common is on business cards and while I have seen them point to websites, they more commonly supply a vCard for the user to import contact information straight into their contacts on their phone.
While these few items are the common places to find QR codes in the U.S., in Europe they have gotten a bit more creative in the way they use these adverse bar codes. This is mainly because they have been using them for years longer than the U.S.. A few of the more creative ways that are being used currently are putting huge billboard sized paintings/graphics on buildings, like one in Downtown Denver, that I saw.
Realtors have started putting them on their real estate signs. Putting these on their signs in front of houses allows realtors to provide flyers on demand without worrying if they are out of flyers and better yet not wasting paper, not to mention they can provide more information and pictures than any paper flyer could ever hold. We have even seen cars with a QR codes on the side, as well as the local bus transportation using them in their advertising on the side and backs of buses.
Here in Highlands Ranch they used a QR code campaign to promote their Hometown Holiday event. They first taught the community about QR codes and launched several different ones over the weeks leading up to the event which allowed people to be educated, informed, entered into drawings and on the day of the event were lead on scavenger hunts with incentives and coupons. The whole community joined in as the local merchants cross-promoted each other with QR codes. All in all it was a fun event for everyone, with the main star being QR Codes.
This past ski season the resorts in Colorado got in on the fun as well with a weekend promotion that got skiers to put QR codes on their jackets with the incentive to have the most scans throughout the day. Not only was there a big prize, there were free hot chocolate, food and iPads given away. Not only did skiers have something to do while waiting in the lift lines, the resort benefited from all the scans with some going to their Facebook page, some Tweeting on Twitter and some on YouTube which generated the buzz and got the word out about their resort.
Now that we have discussed a bit about some uses for QR codes, lets answer the question; Where should QR Codes be used? Well as we can see from the few examples talked about above, there really isn’t anyplace they aren’t able to enhance, promote or provide information for people. They are showing up everywhere from direct mail, to buildings, to billboards, to product labels, to cars, to for sale signs, to being used as tickets. And whats more, they are all sharing something different or unique with people everyday from websites, to phone numbers, to Tweets, to Liking a page, to sending an email or text, to providing a vCard, to providing information, to giving a coupon, to providing free ebooks or music or to viewing a video. With that being said, it’s really all about how creative can you be in your QR code campaign to get your clientele engaging with you. The sky really is the limit, or is it?
What are some the ways you’ve seen QR Codes used? (comment to this post and let us know where you’ve seen them or where you’ve been taken by a QR Code)
Article written by Nicholas Kohlhepp of Social Brothers, LLC