Have you seen these cool little blobs starting to show up just about
anywhere? The one on the left is a Quick Response Code or QR code and they
are bringing new relevance to lots of old media. The other is Microsoft's
version called a Tag. Both are open-source (which means they are free) and
you can create them for a variety of uses. QR codes connect the real world
with the digital world and are something that you can use for your clients
by printing them on promotional products.
These crazy little codes turn smart phones into scanners and can direct
the phone to a website, to a YouTube video, to send a text message, to make
a phone call, to play a game, to complete a story and to make a special
promotional offer. I'll brainstorm more ways in this article and hope
you'll share some ideas as well. First, here's where you can learn more
about Microsoft tags, where you can make your own custom tags like the one
above on the right that I created and will deliver you to my Twitter
account; http://tag.microsoft.com/consumer/index.aspx. You can also get the
app for your smartphone at that address or by searching for code readers in
the App Store. For QR codes, here's just one source for a
generator; http://qrcode.kaywa.com/. If you like to shorten up URL
addresses using www.bit.ly, you'll find that it will automatically generate
a QR code for you along with the shortened web address.
How many ways can you come up with to use QR codes or tags?
1. Record a case history for a promotional product and talk about how your
client can use the product. Give information on lead times, imprint options
and specials and post it as a video on YouTube. Create a Code for the web
address, print it out and put it on the product samples that you give to
your clients and prospects.
2. Want to sell martini glasses or coffee mugs? How about putting a code
on the product that shows how to mix the perfect martini or brew the perfect
cup of Joe? Or lead them back to a page on your website, or to your
favorite supplier's website.
3. Surprise your client with a code that delivers a special message, a
surprise bonus or a special offer on their next order.
4. Selling your home? Selling a car? With a QR code you can deliver video
highlights to enhance your sales efforts.
5. Have your client put codes on promotional products that deliver special
offers, sales and extras.
6. Your radio station client could deliver genre specific music, on air
personality greetings, special messages.
7. Put them on promotional products given away at events, concerts and
festivals with links to videos or free MP3 downloads.
8. Have a Code that brings up a Call Me or Email Me prompt right inside the
devise that can turn that into action!
10. Put codes on your catalog pages so you can point out great ideas for
applying the product, using the product or specials on the products.
11. Codes can be printed and even embroidered onto apparel. Think of the
12. Instant Comment Card or Instant Survey!
13. Your code becomes an instruction manual.
14. Put it on your business card and have it link to your phone, text
message, your website or your LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook page.
15. Create a V-Calendar event to confirm an appointment, webinar,
teleconference or meet up.