Have you seen QR (Quick Response) codes in shop windows or on promotional items? If you haven't yet, I predict you'll notice one now. QR codes are 2-D barcodes that have been all the rage in Japan. Businesses use the barcodes to drive customers to related content and buzz about their products. I've heard that 2011 is the year of the QR code. If Starbucks, Best Buy, and Coca-Cola are using the codes, I want to be on that marketing bandwagon.
Today, I downloaded a QR code scanner/reader app to my iphone. It worked beautifully when I pointed my iphone to scan a QR code. In all of a second, it brought up a webpage of additional information about the product. Why is this important for a writer interested in marketing? It's quick, easy, fun, and CHEAP. Free websites will allow you to generate a code. To see one such generator, go to http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ .
Here's an example of how I should have used the QR code last week. I had business cards printed. They list my business as "Author". Initially, I wanted to put my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks on the card. It was just TOO MUCH information to print on the card. So, I decided to leave those things off. Now I could kick myself. I forgot that I could have printed the QR code on the back. I've already collected several business cards with the QR code added. That's only one example of a use for the QR code.
I plan to follow up this post with marketing ideas for authors. First things first. Here's a YouTube video showing some uses of the general marketing uses for the QR code.