Small businesses use QR codes to give more information to customers and prospects on their smart phones. Although they have been around for almost 20 years, few businesses have discovered the “superpowers” of this new version of the bar code. Here are 10 superpowers that QR codes can provide in the marketing of your business.
1. Get more Facebook likes. People want to track how popular they are. To do so, they can create a QR code that will make consumers “like” a Facebook URL when scanned. Restaurants use this as a way for people to immediately share their favorite place for dinner with their Facebook friends just.
2. Keep it secret. Few know the true identity of the superhero. While the very nature of QR codes is public, “soft security” can be added. This can limit the access of information to a single channel that has a password, which can be content for customers only, competitions or beta testing.
3. Think color. Forget black and white. Like any good comic book superhero, QR codes can be any color to fit the brand image of the company or the promotional design.
4. Almost indestructible. Like a superpower, the QR Code has error correction capability which makes it almost indestructible. Data can be recovered even if it is dirty or damaged.
5. Get paid. Even super heroes need to get paid these days. QRstuff.com allows the user to create a free QR code that sends a consumer to PayPal to pay for a specific item. This takes mobile commerce to the next level. In fact, Starbucks has retail outlets where consumers pay by scanning a QR Codes.
6. Track statistics. See how many consumers use a particular code and analyze the information by exporting it to Microsoft Excel. Marketing departments will love this feature.
7. Google Places. The mobile version of this application can link to a business listing page. A QR code can give mobile-enabled customers simple access to the company’s information on Google. The “how to” is a bit tricky.
8. Other languages? No problem. Since it was developed in Japan, the QR Code maps the JIS Level 1 and Level 2 kanji character set. In Japanese, one full-width Kana or Kanji character is efficiently encoded in 13 bits.
9. WiFi club house. When a business offers free WiFi, anyone in the vicinity can get onto the network. To keep it exclusive to customers, WiFi access with login name and password can be secretly embedded into a QR code which can be printed on the receipt for customers.
10. Solving the budget deficit. A QR code can be engraved on coins and and other materials. In the Netherlands, the Royal Dutch Mint released a series of 100th anniversary coins that included a QR code. When scanned, the code points to the Mint’s commemorative website and a “special surprise.” To solve the current federal deficit, governments could sell advertising space on coins or conduct other promotions.
How has your business discovered the super powers of QR Codes?