Learn How to Use QR Codes

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Crazy QR Codes Broken Down Simply

In last week’s blog, guest blogger Blase Ciabaton, discussed direct mail and how to make it relevant by using QR Codes. Some of you asked for expanded information on QR codes.

Defining a QR Code
QR codes are ‘Quick Response Codes’. It’s just like placing a link on your web site, but a QR code appears as an invisible, machine-like link.

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Use your smart phone to scan this QR code as a special thank you. You'll need QR Droid or another application to scan the code.

It’s easier to learn by DOING – get out your application-based smart phone (iphone, Androids etc.). Scan the QR code to the right and see where it takes you! It will not install anything on your phone or collect information.

Businesses are using QR codes, but the trick as with all marketing tactics is strategy.

What can QR codes link to?
It is a way to surprise website visitors or consumers receiving a printed piece with your QR code something very special that perhaps you aren’t sharing with everyone, like an invitation-only web page.

QR codes can link customers to:

  • SMS a message to cell phone users up to 140 characters allowing them to opt in and receiving your promos
  • Plain text to deliver a message
  • A web site – you can create an invitation-only page just for your QR code customers
  • QR code, qr codes for restaurants, naples marketing firm, marketing strategy

    JagTag produced this QR Code Campaign for a Restaurant Client

  • An online document such as a pdf file or e-book
  • A photo
  • Coupons perhaps if you are running ads on Naples’ Bloc Deals or nationwide Groupon

Producing a QR code does nothing unless you call people’s attention to it.

JagTag is a company that has set the tone for national brands and QR Codes by removing up to 60% of the mechanical looking design converting the codes to look more brand savvy as pictured right.

Make QR Codes part of your marketing strategy.

Where in the World Do I Display QR Codes?
Recently two national brands have used QR codes in interesting methods.

Cool Uses of QR Codes
On cupcakes for a special event, on printed materials to give to customers, on your business’s front door. Use them. Incorporate them…otherwise you are wasting your time.

QR Code Usage Hits
QR Code design, movie poster QR codes, naples marketing, marketing strategy

Brilliant use of QR Code to launch a movie.

QR Codes on food, qr codes for restaurants, naples marketing, marketing strategy

Clever! QR Code printed on sugar cube for a special event serving food.

QR Code at businesses, marketing strategy, naples marketing

Display a QR Code with Google Places at your business's front door. Customers will connect.

Disney qr codes, naples marketing, marketing strategy

Disney is still King. Look closely they deleted part of the QR Code as we suggested and recreated the character's faces. Brilliant!

National Brands Using QR Codes Successfully

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2011 product launch by Estee Lauder used JagTags or QR Codes.

1. Estee Lauder launched its new Idealist Illuminator (spot lightening) serum with customer hand out or point-of-sale cards at the makeup counters displaying a QR Code that took customers to a web page explaining the product and airing a TV commercial.

Their strategy was to capitalized on their existing television advertising and provide the consumer with confidence in purchasing the new skin treatment. It worked!

2. IHOP printed a QR Code on its place mats taking customers to a web page to sign up for special IHOP deals – what a reward!

Consumers may not like to share their information but these days if it means a deal – they’re in!

QR Codes are not the end-all marketing answer, but if properly incorporated with marketing strategy QR Codes will increase web site traffic or increase business foot traffic PLUS YOU CAN PRODUCE A CODE FREE!

How are you using QR Codes or what questions do you have? Post here!

About Camden Smith

Camden Smith has written 77 posts for Marketing Magnetics.

Camden Smith owns DREAMFly Marketing with 16 years in strategic marketing and television journalism. Her cutting-edge, aggressive marketing skills have earned her numerous awards. Smith lives in Naples, Florida with her daughter London.



  • Marla Stanley

    Love the clever ways to use QR codes – the cupcakes are perfect for events. Thanks for the ideas!

  • Tate S.

    I love how Disney put in faces to the QR code. I’ve tried to be creative with them but it really takes a pro to do it. Thanks for this – great article.

  • Jennifer

    Cupcakes are so cute!

    • Monica H.

      How clever, right? Great photos to show us HOW to do this.