[dropcap]R[/dropcap]emember when you opened a box of Cracker Jacks and found a secret message inside along with a decoder ring to read it? Today’s marketers are cashing in on that idea to generate excitement, customer connections and sales using Quick Response (QR) codes. The good news is that you don’t have to be a genius to solve the puzzle of how to take advantage of this marketing tool.
But first, what exactly are QR codes and how can you use them to benefit your business? Very simply, a QR code is a scannable code that automatically takes you to a website or displays a message when it’s scanned. Anyone with a smartphone or mobile device (Android, iPhone, iPad, etc.) can access the information instantly.
Here’s what you need to use QR codes to market your business and effectively reach customers:
- Customers with smartphones and QR code-reading apps
- A QR code, which can be created and downloaded for free from the Internet
- A compelling reason/place to use a QR code
- A message to display or a website where you want your customers to go
Many equipment manufacturers already use QR codes in their advertising and promotional materials, and heavy-equipment distributors have plenty of opportunities to use QR codes as well. Here are some ideas to consider to boost your marketing efforts:
- Add a QR code to your print advertising, presentation and promotional materials and link the code to a specific area of your website to show a video, offer more detailed information, a discount coupon, used equipment listings, or online parts ordering, etc.
- Print a QR code on your business cards to encourage customers to scan it and save your contact information to their phones or direct them to your website or a special offer.
- Use QR codes on window/wall posters, point-of-purchase materials or other in-store displays to give customers additional information or special offers/coupons.
- Include a QR code with your magazine articles to guide readers directly to video of machines in action, or your current used equipment inventory, parts and service specials, etc.
Try it out!
If you don’t already have a QR code reader, download a free app from the app store on your smartphone or mobile device. Then, use the app to scan the QR code below and see what happens.