QR Codes: Five Effective Uses of Quick Response Codes

QR Code

At the same time Facebook was born, QR codes quietly emerged. Created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, QR codes are two dimensional barcodes that can be scanned by any smartphone using one of the numerous free barcode scanners available on the mobile app market today. Once scanned, the smartphone can load a specified website or walk the user through a desired action (e.g. downloading contact information). Because they are two-dimensional, QR codes hold much more information than their one-dimensional cousins which you see every day on most products available for purchase. QR codes are an extremely useful link between the on- and off- line worlds and can be a great tool to use in creating a fully integrated marketing campaign. Fun facts about our friendly four sided friends:

  • Two thirds of smart phone users have seen QR codes; one third report having used QR codes.
  • QR Code usage increased by 1200% in the last six months of 2010.
  • Most QR code users are between the ages of 25-54, with one fourth of all users falling in the 35-44 age range.
  • QR code us by gender skews slightly towards females, however the jury is still out to determine whether the split is truly 50/50.

Using QR codes is simple, straightforward, and easily trackable. Visit qrcode.kaywa.com or qrstuff.com to set up your own QR code instantly. Enter the action you wish the QR code to have once scanned, and then set the action's parameters (e.g. a re-direct to a URL of your mobile site). Remember that QR codes contain unique links; use unique links for each campaign to measure its success.

QR code use can take many forms. Try integrating QR codes into your marketing efforts to connect your on- and off- line experience:

  1. Information. Use packaging and promotional items (perhaps given to customers after a service is completed) to as a place for QR codes to link to additional information, be it content that gives color and depth to a product or a thank you page for recent purchase.
  2. Games and entertainment. Offer free music downloads, access to an online game, or, if applicable, access to a free demo of your product.
  3. Social. Use QR codes to provide easy access to your social media presences: Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and more.
  4. Business cards and company information. Instead of handing out business cards, catalogs, and other print material, offer QR codes as links to digital versions of each. With "live" digital materials, you can update content at any time without a significant added expense.
  5. Coupons. Add value to your marketing materials by providing links to coupons and other special offers, accessible only via the QR code.

Be creative and use QR codes to link customer experiences in the on- and off-line world. Have a QR code success story? Share it with us by emailing jen.morris@eboostconsulting.com.

QR Code Case Studies

Explore how other companies have used QR codes through these case studies.

Jimmy Fallon QR Code

iMedia Connection



Jen Morris, Associate Consultant, eBoost Consulting

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Did You Know?

Between January 2008 and January 2009, the number of daily mobile Web users doubled.