They seem to be popping up everywhere, in magazines, store displays and, for more intrepid and unconventional marketers, even on bodies. What is this latest marketing device; Quick Response (QR) Codes. The ubiquitous squares that enable companies to provide a wide-range of information about the products or services they are selling.
Why this sudden proliferation in these devices? First, it enables consumers to almost instantaneously access information about the products being displayed. Secondly, as reported by StatCounter, an analytics firm, global internet usage through mobile devices, excluding tablets, has doubled year on year since 2009 and now accounts for 8.5% of all internet access. As prices for both equipment and data access plans decrease, more consumers will be equipped with these devices and it expected that internet usage through these devices will continue to increase.
How should a small business owner position him or herself to take advantage of this potentially powerful marketing device? Just like in any other marketing campaign following the adage of “look before you leap” makes the most sense. In a recent edition of Marketing Profs, Michelle EIchhorn, the director of marketing for Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc put forth five steps everyone who is considering using these devices should follow. They include:
QR Codes certainly have the potential to deepen the marketing experience and drive more customers to your business. Just like any other marketing tool, it must be properly thought out, planned, implemented and measured. Don’t get caught up in the hype at the expense of your business.
Jim Carroll is the vice president for small business for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and the executive director for the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads, Inc. The SBDC website is www.hrsbdc.org. He can be reached at 664-2595 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.