QR codes…another way to connect

This article was originally written for publishing on the Kansas Credit Union Association website, so it focuses on credit unions, but QR codes can really be used for any business.

QR codes have been a hot topic around the marketing/communications industry. With mobile technology moving at lightning speed, it only makes sense that these little codes are becoming more popular as an easy way to give the consumer more information about a product simply by using their mobile phone.

It’s like a bar code you would see on a box of crackers or a gallon of milk, but these codes don’t tell you the price. Embedded in all those black and white boxes and lines is more code. When the code is scanned using the camera function on your mobile device (please note: you must have a tag reader app downloaded on your device, more about that below) it either directs you to a website for more information, provides you with a message right on your phone, or even downloads a Soduko game!

How can you use them?

Direct mail
Launching a new product? Print a QR code on a direct mail piece. Embed the url (to the product page hosted on your website) in the QR code. When someone receives that piece in the mail, they can scan the QR code with their phone, and it will take them right to the page on your website!

Make a sign
Is your credit union located in a high traffic area? Print out the QR code on a simple 8.5 x 11 piece of paper and put it in the window or door of your credit union. Have the code point to the page on your website where your contact information is listed, including hours, and product and services. Someone walking by your credit union after hours could find out more information just by scanning the code.

Add it to your print advertisements
See above. When someone scans the QR code it could take them to the new product page (if that is what you are advertising), to your “about us” page on your credit union’s website, or simply display a map to where your credit union is located. (Have the latest Credit Union Magazine? Turn to the COOP Think advertisement on page 49.)

One bank put big billboards of QR codes in an airport. When someone scanned the code on their phone, it downloaded a Soduko puzzle game and even a free book.

How do you make a QR code
With simple typing, you can make a QR code. Go to Quirify.com or Kawaya.com. You can include a hyperlink, phone number, or SMS text message.

How do you “read” a QR code?
You must have a “reader” app downloaded on your mobile device. Here are several to look at:
BeeTag reader
Apple iTunes

More resources:
Credit Unions.com: QR Marks the Spot and QR Codes: One Hot Marketing Application

Picture Marketing: QR Codes in the Wild. Look at Exhibit E for an example of how a Credit Union is using QR codes.

Interactive Blend: QR codes, the Future of Marketing

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