It is likely that you have used online and offline channels to market your organization. For the most part, those two types of marketing don’t talk to each other. But with QR codes, you can marry the two and unite your online and offline efforts.
A QR (quick response) code is a two-dimensional bar code that holds information – typically a website’s URL for marketing purposes. People can scan the code with a smart phone and be taken directly to the stored website or webpage. You may have seen QR codes in magazines or on display advertising because they are becoming more and more popular.
Who’s scanning them?
In June of 2011, 14 million Americans—or 6.2% of the total mobile audience—scanned a QR code on their mobile devices, according to data from ComScore. For community organizations specifically, recreation guides, posters and postcards seem to be the most popular places to use QR codes. LERN recently reported that about 12% of brochures produced in the first half of 2011 included QR codes. Although these numbers may not seem huge right now, QR code usage is quickly on the rise.
What organizations are using them?
Burien, Washington’s Park, Recreation and Cultural Services: Burien lists facilities and addresses in its printed guide and embedded a QR code below the list. When a visitor scans that QR code, he or she is taken to an interactive Google map with all facility locations pinpointed. Right from there, people can get directions to any facility on their phones.
Panorama Recreation, British Columbia: Panorama included a QR in its printed guide, as well. This code sends scanners to its website where more information and interaction can take place. The goal of this campaign is simple: get more people to the website and boost online registrations.
Central Park, New York: New York City turned Central Park into an interactive museum with its QR code campaign. Check out the video:
How do I create one?
First, make sure that you have a strategy for using a QR code. Optimize the page for mobile browsing and make sure you test that it works before going live. Once you have a plan in place, here is how to create one:
Search for “free QR code generator” on Google and you’ll see a number of different providers. Type in the URL where you want scanners to land and you’re on your way. Save the image and use it in your next printed campaign!