Just this past week while a few friends and I were getting together for the evening, one friend announced that she would have to stop out for a minute or two to ‘meet’ with her boss. It was early evening here, so we gave her a fair round of ribbing, as the evening was set aside for sharing drinks and shooting the breeze together. But just how this meeting took place gave us good fodder for conversation.
Our friends boss was in England on business, and apparently just needed to check on a few details for something-or-other. So our friend went into a nearby room, pulled out her IPhone and essentially teleconferenced one-on-one with her boss in London. Aside from feeling like we were in an Apple commercial, it was a remarkable reminder that smartphones are now an essential part of our business and personal lives. One gets the feeling that – much like computers today – in a few years we won’t remember how we ever got along without them.
So, what does that mean for a local business and its print advertising? Perhaps surprisingly, it could mean a lot.
Today as you plan out your next mailer, promotional coupon or even business card, you need to consider that many of your customers could have their smartphone in their hand when they come across your material. You need to imagine a way of making it easy for your customer to get more information and contact you readily. Imagine a way to get them right to your business site, or a site for the product they are interested in, or even a one-click option to call a sales rep.
Then stop imagining. The print world is right in step with the rise of smartphones, all through the power of QR codes. So what is this and how can your business make use of them?
First a little background info.
QR codes are essentially, a small graphical code (see the 2 above) that contains all matter of information that can be accessed by a smartphone. A smartphone user would aim their camera at the QR code (QR stands for quick response by the way) using a readily available app, which would scan the code and then automatically send the phone’s web-browser to a given address. So from one small graphic –usually 1 inch by 1 inch– you can quickly and easily direct your potential customers to more information and greater access to your business.
And its important to note that QR codes aren’t limited to sending your customers to web addresses. A code can be set up to direct users to phone numbers, GPS locations, downloadable files, text messages or even a file that will automatically download your contact information to their phone. They really are an incredibly powerful system to help your business reach customers in a myriad of ways. What’s more, aside from making your business more accessible, it will also help you better track who is visiting your site.
A few examples to consider:
– Add a QR code to your business card, and a client or partner could automatically download your contact information to their phone
– If your hosting an event or fundraiser, have a QR code send GPS information of the location or a direct ink to Google maps for your reader. That way no one is calling for directions, its right at their fingertips.
– Real Estate agents could use them to send a prospective client right to the web-page of a given location from a printed advertisement. The client sees the listing, and if interested just click with their camera and automatically get more details.
– Use QR codes in a catalog, so that customers can scan what they want and add those items directly to an online shopping cart, or assemble a shopping list before coming into a store. Or do the same thing to the window of your store when you are closed – perhaps under a big poster that reads ” Shop Online Anytime!.”
– Add a code that will automatically like your store on Facebook, or allow someone to follow you on Twitter
Or if you are still in need of some ideas, check out what one supermarket in Korea did in the video below.
And if you would like to try it out, print the codes included on this page, to view our website, or give us a call.