Have you seen those little square QR codes popping up here and there? They've been used in industry since 1994, but only in the last couple of years have they become popular. Now you see them in magazines, on billboards, store windows, food packaging and more.

These images contain embedded information. Scan them with your smartphone and you might download contact information, open a document, or be taken to a website. For example, this one (below) takes you to the home page of The Practice Institute.

How to use QR codes in your marketing:

  • Put a QR code on your business card, and have it link to your website. Instead of tapping out your website URL (and possibly making typos) people can click over in an instant by scanning the QR image.
  • Giving a talk? Put a QR code on the handout, and have it link to an article or bibliography.
  • In your waiting room, you can have a page of QR codes, each connecting to a different fact sheet. Saves paper, and clients can take the information home on their smartphones.

How to make a QR code:

It's very easy to create a QR code. Search online for "generate QR code" and you'll come up with hundreds of possibilities. Two popular ones include  kaywa.com and qreateandtrack.com.

How to read QR codes:

You'll need a QR reader app on your smart phone. Search in your phone's app store.

If you're a TPI member, you can download the audio of my recent marketing Q&A call, during which we discussed QR codes and marketing strategies.

Here's a news video with more info about how people are using QR codes: