QR Codes - How can they be used in professional services? QR codes? You know, those funny square barcode type things that you’ve seen from time to time but never quite known what they are. Are they some kind of secret code like Masonic Handshakes. Some kind of conspiracy theory? No, QR code stands for Quick Response code.
A QR code is a specific type of matrix barcode (or two dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and, more importantly by camera phones. The code consists of small black squares, arranged in a large square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, a URL or other kinds of data.
The QR code system was originally created by a subsidiary of Toyota back in 1994 when they were used to track goods & vehicles. Currently around 22% of US Fortune 500 companies use them in one way or another. Waitrose used QR codes on their Christmas advertising in the UK, creating easy ways for users to download recipes and ideas.
QR codes can be used to embed any of the following kinds of information:
- Website URLs
- Browser bookmark
- vCard file
- vCalendar file
- Email address
- Phone number
- SMS number
- Geo location
- Social network links
- iPhone and Android app store links
So, how might they be used in professional services? Here are some ideas:
- Business cards perhaps the most obvious one to most people. Encode your Contact details via a QR code which downloads a VCF file to a mobile device.
- Event details - Storing the Date, location, details of the event.
- Event ticket - on the entry ticket to an event or seminar to download agendas, speaker profiles etc.
- Outside advertising – of all Sorts. Including a QR code to measure response of different ads.
- Magazine advert - With a link to a website to download more information or some kind of special offer.
- Property details - a poster In the window of a commercial or residential property giving details of the number of rooms, square footage, rent, Website URL.
- PowerPoint presentation - to allow attendees at a conference to download the presentation from a website based on d QR code added to a slide in your presentation in the hand-outs.
- Office window adverts - are you a high street firm of accountants or lawyers offering some kind of deal? why not create a QR code poster to go in the Window of your office advertising your deal.
- Exhibition panels - Providing details of some kind of trade show or event specific offer to visitors if they scan the QR code at the show.