Life happens fast, but marketing happens at warp speed.
Do you know what a QR Code is? Here’s one:
Chances are you’ve seen one but not quite figured out what it was . . . or maybe you sort of knew, but didn’t know what to do with it, or how to get one.
For those who don’t have a clue, a QR Code, short for QUICK RESPONSE code, is a mobile-phone friendly image that can be easily scanned by consumers using any of the smartphones, such as an iPhone, Android, etc. By scanning the image with a smartphone, consumers can be quickly taken to information associated with the QR Code on-line.
So what does any of this mean to you, the business owner?
Generally, these QR Codes are popping up on landscaping plants at your local gardening store, on merchandise, and, yes, now even in advertising. Once used only by large corporations, now anyone can have a product related QR Code: even the kid with the lemonade stand at the corner.
QR Codes have been used for some time overseas, but with the proliferation of Smartphones in America, QR Codes have become the newest tool in the marketing arsenal, especially for smaller businesses. This is due to the ability to cheaply and effectively create and use QR Codes, and the fact that an estimated 37% of mobile phones are Smartphones* and many Smartphones have the app needed to scan and read the QR code. (There are over 302 Million cell phones in use in the US.**) Many smartphones come with the app installed, but others, like my iPhone G4 require the user to download the app from the app store. And, yes, I have that app.
As a marketing professional, I am doing back flips over the applications for QR codes. My mind is racing! Just think of the possibilities! (Or just hire Fisher & Company to do the thinking and implementation for you.)
While already widely in use, expect to see QR codes popping up everywhere you look and as common as a web address or telephone number in marketing. In fact, now that I mention it, why aren’t you already using QR Codes in your marketing?
It’s stuff like this that reminds all of us that marketing is not a part-time thing or a sometime thing to do whenever someone has the time or a deadline to meet. Marketing should be left to marketing professionals, not the office manager, the HR person, or whoever doesn’t have enough to do around the office.
An important role of the professional marketer is to stay ahead of the curve and look for opportunities. This is an opportunity.
The non-professional marketer who thinks marketing is easy and that anyone can do it probably has a mess on their hands: a mess of lost business, wasted dollars, and missed opportunities.
*Data from Nielsen, May 2011.
** Data from CTIA, the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry, December 2010.