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Implementing technology into marketing strategy

QR (Quick Response) codes might seem like a new marketing tool, but they have actually been around for almost 20 years. Originally developed by Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota, they were used to track automotive parts at high speeds. Because Denso has waived their right to patent this technology, the use of QR codes has become wide-spread.

Although the intended purpose was for inventory, QR codes found their way into the marketing arena due to the advent of smartphones and smartphone apps. Since these tools have cameras, it is easy to scan a QR code and lead consumers, users and potential prospects to a wealth of information on certain companies including products and services. Most smartphone apps are FREE and can be downloaded on a mobile device in less than a minute. So essentially it is a no-low cost tool for a business and the customer.

The QR code works in a similar way to a UPC barcode in that data is held in the form of a pattern that can be decoded. This data can be anything from a URL for a website, to contact information, to geolocation data for use on a map. Anything that can be written out in under 4,000 characters or so (depending on the data type).

To create a QR Code for your business, simply search online [QR Code Generator] for one of the many free programs that will immediately produce a graphic image containing a unique QR Code for your purpose. There are also programs available (fees may apply) that report measurable information such as the number of times your code is scanned.

Companies are using QR codes to lead customers to information including “how to” product videos, supporting websites to enhancing social media statuses. Below are some creative ideas for how QR Codes can be used.

1. QR Codes can be put on the packaging of food and link to a recipe website that provides cooking ideas using that grocery item.

2. In galleries or exhibits, QR Codes can be displayed next to paintings, artifacts or other works of art. When the guest scans the code, she can get a lot of detail about the artist, history or purchasing information.

3. Customers can be a part of the product experience by scanning a QR Code to find out where something originated from. Imagine purchasing a car and actually getting to see a production process of the vehicle being manufactured, or a map of where it was built. Companies could even incorporate safety ratings and consumer reviews and testimonials.

4. Put a QR Code on your business card that links to a video of you giving your elevator pitch.

5. You can even have QR Codes that will trigger a phone call… imagine the possibilities with that!

For more ideas, check out this great article from Mashable, Inc.

About the Author

Open for Business, Central Nebraska
The Open for Business Staff strives to create the most useful content possible for businesses. Whether it's tips and tools available for owners to work smarter, not harder, a feature story highlighting amazing things happening with a Central Nebraska business or a fun tip here and there, you will find something that helps your business thrive at 


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