QR codes: Smart marketing for smartphones

February 18, 2013 - Tags: Marketing

As mobile technology develops and smartphone ownership increases, your customers may want to access your business through QR codes. By using a camera on their cell phone to scan quick response (QR) codes, potential customers can reach your website immediately for more product information or a special offer linked directly to the code. But why not also target your mobile-equipped audience to measure the success of specific marketing campaigns?

QR codes are black modules of pixels arranged in a square pattern on a white background that can ease the offline-to-online consumer experience. These specific matrix codes hold up to 7,089 characters compared to the 20-digit capacity of a typical bar code, so you can embed more information. Analytics tools show your codes' performance, allowing you to use the data for future decisions.

Although this technology is relatively new in Canada, you might find QR codes useful if you can convince customers that their efforts will lead to a pay-off. All they need is a QR code scanner or reader in their camera phone and the incentive to use it.

Let QR codes build business by placing them:

  • In print ads to drive customers to your website where they can enter a contest, claim a coupon or access exclusive content
  • On packaging to link directly to product reviews or detailed information that can help drive the purchasing decision
  • On your storefront to entice savvy customers in for a freebie
  • On your business card to link to a promo video about your work or your latest blog post

Create QR codes easily by using a code generator. Remember, the more data you have to transmit, the smaller the pixels will be as scanners must be more sensitive to pick up the image. It is also a good idea to have a mobile friendly website if you embed your business' URL in a QR code.

All the user needs to do is:

  • Download a QR reader (if it is not already pre-loaded on their phone)
  • Start the application
  • Take a photo of the QR code and let the reader decode the information inside

An effective use of QR codes can trigger an action in your consumers, so consider whether this strategic marketing technology fits with your business objectives.

For more on sales techniques that can lead to growth, take a look at our section on Promoting and advertising your business.


Posted by Ryan on April 3, 2013
it's really good information

Posted by Stephanie on February 21, 2013
It's very encouraging to see this type of article on the Canadian Business Network. There are even ways to incorporate branding into QR codes; they don't need to be black and white. QR Codes are a great tool for small businesses because they're relatively low cost and since some generators also offer tracking, I've found them very useful to produce quantitative measurements.
Posted by Alex on February 21, 2013
QR code is a great invention people made. I'm making mobile apps currently and find it really cool to implement QR codes into them.... They are really helpful for various businesses and individuals.
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