Have you seen one of these recently? It’s called a Quick Response (QR) Code. Scan it with a QR reader app on your Smartphone, and any number of things can happen. You might be taken to a website, receive contact information (e.g., vCard), or be prompted to send an email. A single QR code is capable of storing over 4000 alphanumeric characters.
Already quite popular in Japan for a few years, QR codes are rapidly making inroads in the United States as businesses attach them to advertisements, flyers, and other promotional materials. A QR Code even popped up during the recent Stephen Colbert/Roots/Jimmy Fallon performance of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” on Late Night (that one took viewers to a bonus video about the performance on Late Night’s website).
Sites like qrstuff.com help you generate, print, and otherwise embed your own QR codes for free. Attach them to your business cards, advertising or marketing materials to send potential customers your company’s contact info or direct them to a website. For example, some realtors place QR codes on “For Sale” signs on their properties that take prospective buyers to the MLS listing. British band Pet Shop Boys recently used a QR code to direct fans to a free download of their new single.
Other uses have included billboards, guerilla-marketing campaigns, event ticketing, coupons, direct mail campaigns, and more. A QR code’s potential for your business is limited only by your imagination.