What is a QR Code? What is QR Code Marketing?

Maine Web Design QR Code

Scan this and visit flyte.biz

In my ongoing quest to learn all I can about using QR Codes, I attended the Maine Marketing Association’s lunch & learn on QR Codes in Marketing today.

While I plan on writing a more in-depth piece on QR Code marketing soon, I wanted to get out some initial information that I felt would be helpful.

What is a QR Code?

A QR (Quick Response) Code is a 2D barcode that can be read by special software on a camera phone, usually as a free download on a smart phone. Just search for “QR scanner” in the iTunes or Droid app store.

Depending on your QR code reader, once scanned you’ll be redirected to a web page, call a phone number, see a message, or other action. (I can only imagine the merry prankster who will love this “what’s behind door number one” app.)

According to Joe Rosenfield of Edison Press, who presented, a QR code can contain a URL, calendar event, contact info (such as a vCard), email address, SMS text message, and even geolocation information. How these are handled may depend on the QR scanner you use.  (I use QR App.)

Rich Brooks' Mini Bio

Scan this to see my "mini" bio.

So, as a marketer, you could use QR codes in printed pieces, posters, or even digitally to drive someone to a website. (Although, if you’re using it on a website or email newsletter, I’m not sure that a clickable link wouldn’t be easier and more obvious.)

How do I generate a QR Code?

Luckily, generating a QR code is free. There are plenty of websites that will do it for you; I used Kaywa to create the codes on this page.

How many people use QR Codes?

At this point in early 2011, most people wouldn’t know a QR code from a barcode. Most aren’t even QR qrious. (snicker)

However, QR codes have been spotted on everything from buildings to business cards, wine bottles to Tide bottles, and even as tattoos. This graph from Google Insights shows the surge in searches for “QR Codes”:

QR Code Search Volume

In other words, it has the potential of going mainstream, especially with the growth of smart phones which have both cameras (required for scanning the code) and Internet capability.

Call flyte new media today!

This QR Code will call flyte new media...but it won't guarantee that we'll pick up.

QR Takeaway

Like most marketing and advertising, there are going to be businesses and industries better suited than others to take advantage of this. As I mentioned before, why have a QR code on your site when a link is easier to create and offers a much better user experience?

However, for promoting events through print media (newspapers, magazines, direct mail, posters, billboards, business cards, etc.) QR codes offer a way for non-digital products and services to leverage the internet and mobile marketing all at the same time.

Rich Brooks
QR Marketing

7 Responses to “What is a QR Code? What is QR Code Marketing?”

  1. Info

    good to see more and more articles about QR
    flyte.biz isn’t mobile optimized…
    crucial part of any mobile marketing campaign with QR Codes.
    If the landing page isn’t optimized, then chances are that the user isn’t going to be able to do anything with the content that is delivered.
    The whole QR idea has to be delivered in three steps.
    Connect (QR)
    Engage (Mobile optimized landing page if in fact its a url)
    Measure (Track your hits and turn it into actionable content)
    we can help.

  2. Tyler Coffin

    Very cool! 2011 is the year of the QR Code! I recently launched http://www.SocialQRCode.com and it is designed for businesses interested in growing their Facebook fan page or Twitter followers using QR Codes.

    Turn foot traffic into webtraffic for your Fan page and Twitter page!

    Please give it a try!

  3. Randy Pickard

    As you point out, marketers need to become familiar with QR codes. IDC Retail Insights estimates that over 8% of consumers are already using smart phones to transform the way they shop. My firm just started adding QR codes to shopping baskets as a method for retail stores to spur smart phones equipped comparison shoppers to visit their weekly specials web page. Time will tell whether it turns out to be a gimmick, or if stores actually order them.

  4. therichbrooks


    Good point, at this point flyte.biz isn’t mobile optimized, although we’re currently working on a revamp that will be more mobile friendly.

    That being said, I just needed to give people an example of how a QR tag could take them to a website, and the flyte.biz domain was a handy example.

  5. custom logo design

    This is pretty new thing for me becaue i did not heard about QR codes before actually i am new in the field.
    I think this is gonna help my business as well as my affiliate links so overall very informative post.

  6. Debi Davis

    Detailed and informative as always Rich!
    Debi Davis
    Mind Your Own Business Radio