What are those funny squares?

 

It used to be that the only thing that stayed the same was the pace of change but now that has increased so rapidly that nothing stays the same. Yesterday’s innovation quickly becomes yesterday’s news. Nowhere is this more true than in marketing. Some things are just fads and disappear overnight and some things stclip_image002and the test of time. Technology used to be the arena of the young—and now the young are middle aged. If you are not connecting with them, you are missing your market and in this day of rapid change, even short-terms mistakes in marketing can be fatal. All of which leads us to QR codes.

If you start looking around you will see QR codes everywhere—they snuck up on us. Similar to a bar code the QR code is a pattern that can be read by any “smart phone.” It does require an app (hope I’m not losing you here) but the app is free. Search for a “QR Code Reader” and download the app. Using the app, you position your phone over the QR Code and your phone is immediately taken to the web site of the code. The QR Code above takes you to The Fremont Group web site. Now start imagining the possibilities—put your web site code on all your materials—business cards, bids, literature, your email, door hangers, advertisements, brochures—anything that people will see. You now will have people going directly to the web site of your choice.

Two more good things—first the QR Codes are free. Google QR Code generator and you will be taken to a free web site. Enter your desired web site and the code is immediately generated for you to download and save. (A hint—use the small version where you are given a choice. The large ones are really large. They can however be manipulated by sizing the text box when you insert them into copy.) Second good thing—it creates incredibly simple tracking of hits. Create a web site that merely redirects one to the desired web site and you can track the number of hits on coming from the code. Use different codes for different products or services to direct people to exactly what you want them to see. The bad news is, if you have a lousy web site you might not want to direct people to it! On the other hand this is a strong reason to bring you web site up-to-date. Ask yourself—what do I want people to see when it comes up on their phone? That will determine what you want from your site.

QR Codes could become an extremely strong marketing tool—or they could be a fad. Frankly it doesn’t matter. Your company must take advantage of this technology immediately if for no other reason merely for the image of being ahead of the curve. I am told that they have been around much longer in Asia and are now commonplace. Given their flexibility and simplicity and given that they are free, I expect them to also become a mainstay here. Try it, you’ll like it.