Just Scan It: QR Code Marketing for Small Businesses

Five years ago, QR codes were toted as the wave of the future. Now that the future is here, what’s the deal? Are the funny little black-and-white squares good for your small business website? Do they even work? What are the benefits and how can you maximize their potential?

We’ve got answers about QR code marketing for small businesses.

What the Heck Is a QR Code?

A QR (short for “quick response”) code is a scannable black and white square that delivers information about your small business straight to a potential customer’s smartphone. It can link users to your website, provide deals or coupons or give them your contact information. Generally placed on advertisement fliers, menus or even fast-food wrappers, the idea is to put your information at your customer’s fingertips.

So, What Do I Do With a QR Code?

A QR code is a great way to deliver a message, but first you have to get your audience to scan it! This is best accomplished with an incentive. “Scan this code and get a free pony.” OK, maybe you shouldn’t offer equines (they’re expensive!), but you get the point. Offer a discount, a contest entry or a free music download. Once someone has scanned the code, your information is in their hands.

Wait, What Information?

You can link your QR code to your small business website, product information or a social media site. However, do not – we repeat: do not – link to anything that is not optimized for mobile. This is the cardinal sin of QR marketing. Desktop computers don’t have QR readers; smartphones and tablets do. Launching a QR campaign that links to a non-mobile site is worse than no QR campaign at all.

That said, a QR code should be used to teach your audience something or give them something (think nutrition information, product reviews or contact details.)

Do QR Codes Really Work?

According to a study by Pitney Bowes, yes! Nearly 50% of the adult population uses smartphones. Men are the biggest users of QR scanners, accounting for 60% of all scans.

Market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey determined that 43% of U.S. consumers will scan a code for a discount, and more than a quarter will scan a code for information about products and services. In short, when done right, a code can net your small business some pretty serious business of its own.

QR codes aren’t the future anymore – they’re the present. And while those black-and-white squares might look foreign to you, Mischa Communications speaks QR. Contact us today and we’ll show you how one little square can have a big impact on your small business.