QR Codes - July 2011 Marketing Blog

We are putting a QR code on the latest edition of SI Review and amongst ourselves, a couple of us didn’t know what a QR code was or how to use it.  One of my colleagues said, “hey Hinda, you should blog about it, some of the staffing companies might want to know more.”  So, here is some more on QR codes and why we are using them and why you might consider using them as well.

Let’s start with the basics, what is a QR Code? 

You have seen the image above popping up everywhere: on bill boards, in print ads, on promotional pieces, etc.  According to Wikipedia, QR code stands for:  Quick Response Code.  It is a barcode that is readable by a specific reader or camera phone.   And just in case you wanted to know more, it was created by Toyota to track vehicle inventory in 1994.

So why all the fuss?

Well for the first time, print advertisers now have a very clear way of measuring readership and response to ads or other promotional materials.  How many people scan your QR Code is a definitive measurement for all marketers.

How does it work?

You can generate and print your own QR code for others to scan by using one of several paid or free QR code generating sites or apps.  We used a free one; here are some that you can check out:

Kaywa.com

Qrstuff.com

Zxing.com

Delivr.com

Goqr.com

Google’s Android even lets you generate QR codes that can be read by Google Goggles and will show you a place.

Once you generate the code, which embeds:  images, URL, text, etc., a user must download a QR code reader on his/her phone and then they can scan or “snap” the code.  I have Red Laser on my iPhone, it’s a free app that not only reads QR codes, but also reads bar codes for comparative shopping at any store.  The scan takes the user to what was embedded (the image, URL or text message). 

QR codes do not have to be print items.  I have seen them in hotels, where hotels have them designed on the wall to look like a piece of art, but if you scan the “art” you get hotel information.  Some companies are creating QR codes that look like their logos.  You can put a QR code on a website if you want to have a wired and unwired experience.

How does this apply to a staffing company?

Recruiting – looking  for specific talent and need a referral? Run a contest using a QR code to generate leads for the position you have available

PR – Did you get some good press that you want more people to look at? Embed a QR code on your website and take people directly to the press release

Surveys – doing a quick survey, need an answer to something quick – embed some text into a QR code and incent people to view and get the answer to your question

Promotion – having a conference, use a QR code on an invitation to get people to sign up immediately

Look for Staffing Industry Analysts QR codes

We are using QR codes to direct you to research, to have you sign up for conferences and get you to read our magazines.  QR codes are easy to implement; are a great way to measure marketing campaign success and are fun for you and your audience.  Try it and see if it works for you.  And let us know what you think about how we are using QR codes in the future.

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