By now, I’m sure you’ve seen one of these little guys. The question is… do you know what it is? Even more importantly, should you be using them?
The image above is a QR code. Lots of companies are using them in a variety of marketing tactics. I’ve seen them on everything from McDonald’s cups to business cards. Essentially, it’s like a bar code, only instead of 1 dimensional, it’s 2D. Anyone with a camera-enabled smartphone can download a free application to scan a QR code.
What can a QR code do?
These bar codes can store thousands of characters, and can be used to enable may actions. Of course, for your business, the most straightforward action it to send someone to your website. However, you can also direct someone to a YouTube video, bring up your location on a map, dial a phone number, compose an email or a text, add an event to someone’s calendar, send your contact card details, and on and on and on.
I get it, but should I be using QR Codes?
Well, like my favorite marketing professor used to tell me… it depends. You’ll need to consider a few things first:
- How does your website look on a mobile device? If your website can’t be viewed on a mobile device, you’ll need to get really creative on how you use them. You won’t be able to send people anywhere on your website using one.
- Who are your customers? 75% of QR Code users are 25-54. If your sweet spot isn’t in this range, this may not be the right tactic for you.
- Do your customers (and potential customers) have camera-equipped smartphones? Most QR Code users have iPhones or Android phones.
- WHY would your customers interact with you in a mobile environment? That is, do you have a compelling customer benefit or call to action that can be executed from a mobile device?
If your business meets these considerations, then (and only then) you should start thinking about how to best use QR codes for your business.