A Digital Marketing Insider's Point of View by Winston Bromley.
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QR code The Wine LadiesHave you seen this image before? It’s a white box with black (or coloured) boxes inside it and it does something.. but you are not sure what it does.. This image is a QR Code. and it will be your friend by the end of this article. We have been using them in our business for almost a year now with our clients and our own branding.

There has been a noticable increased use of the QR or Quick Response code lately and I wanted to let you know the benefits of why you should be using them in all your offline promotions.

The basics: A QR Code is really just a bar code that looks different from what we are used to, such as the ones we see on food and clothing we buy. It was created by a company in Japan to make the warehouse more efficient, in 1994. Since that time, they have become very big in Japan and Europe and recently over to North America where we see them today in Malls, in advertising, in magazines, on our food packaging and even on Clothing now.

How it all works is that a person would see the QR code in a mall, they can point their Smart Phone as if taking a picture at the Code, using any QR Reader software (most of them are free to download). Once the scan is done (it’s like taking a picture and very fast), your Smart phone will re-direct you to the page that it’s linked up to, say a Sales page or a Special offer page, on your Smart phone. So it captures your attention right away and can lead to sales.

I believe that QR code help to speed up the connection that is created between the Offline and online worlds a lot faster if used correctly. You can even link to your Social Media platforms of choice!

QR codes speed up the time of connection to your customers as you don’t need to remember a long URL to type in as it is Scanned in via the Smart Phone.

In your business, whatever you do, if you advertise in any way, QR codes offer benefits that a lot of regular lead generating tools do not. These include (but certainly not limited to):

– QR codes can dial phone numbers for you
– QR codes can link to email messages
– QR codes can link to Social Media platforms and images or even just text.
– QR codes can be read anytime and anywhere in any country, which makes it a great thing and convenient.
– QR codes can speed up purchases to generate sales (such as at malls, advertisements and mobile marketing)

Some ideas on where you can put QR codes:
– On Business cards (see the back of mine) to help speed up the connection with other people. Mine works well as people see it’s new and want to scan it.

– On food items and even restaurant menus to showcase the food content/ingredients/calories so the customer can choose the best for them.
– On your advertisement posters for your next event. Get people registered right from the Poster!
– Ticket purchases can use QR codes to be scanned at the point of entry
– Real estate agents can use QR codes to link to their website or more specifically to the property they are showing. It could even lead to a Virtual viewing. No need for the TXT messages that are on signs. Use QR codes. It’s 1 step and looks very professional.

One note on linking to a website via your QR code..
QR code The Wine LadiesI want to show you an example of linking to a website. Please scan the image to the left with your Smart phone/QR reader and it will take you to one of my clients websites that we have done QR advertising with.

The Wine Ladies share the splendour of food and wine for all and the wonderful lifestyle it entails. They needed a way to advertise to their fans and new customers so they have begun using QR Codes in their promotional material to speed up the process of sharing information and generating sales from their Online store (by the way, there are some great things in there!)

We have create a mobile template as well as their regular website template. Here is their website:  http://www.thewineladies.com.

When linking to websites via the mobile phone, if at all possible, you should ensure that the website is “mobile friendly”. What this means is that you create a separate template for mobile phones to see the site in a nice and concise way on their screens, rather than all the bells and whistles as you would on a normal computer screen. If you scan the image above and then click on the link to the site, you will see the same content but in a more manageable way for a mobile user’s phone.

How you create a QR code in a nutshell, is:

1. You would choose the URL you would like to take people to, such as your website, real estate property page, your CV,etc
2. Copy and paste that url into http://goo.gl/ for it to generate the QR code for you
3. Download or screenshot the QR Code that is generated for you (each on is individual to the system) and
4. Place it in your Marketing material

QR codes can be generated from services like http://goo.gl/ from Google and other websites for free, however these free versions are generally small to print so you may look around for a QR Code service that generates large QR codes for you.

So the next time you get something in the mail, or from the mail, take a look to see if you see the funny White box with black boxes inside and scan it. See where it takes you..

until next time


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