A QR Code is a 2D barcode that can be read by software using a camera phone. The camera scans the code and instantly launches the user directly to a mobile website. QR codes are fast becoming the newest form of “Call To Action” for advertisers, publishers and marketers within both traditional and interactive campaigns. QR codes give users the ability to measure response rates with exact precision allowing for easier ROI (return on investment) calculation.

Here is a quick introduction:

They come to us from Japan where they are very common. QR is short for Quick Response (they can be read quickly by a cell phone). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your cell phone.

You probably are seeing these barcodes in magazine adverts, on billboards, web pages or even on someone’s t-shirt. Once it is in your phone, it may give you details about that business (allowing users to search for nearby locations), or details about the person wearing the t-shirt, show you a URL which you can click to see a trailer for a movie, or it may give you a coupon which you can use in a local outlet.

The reason why they are more useful than a standard barcode is that they can store (and digitally present) much more data, including url links, geo coordinates, and text. The other key feature of QR Codes is that instead of requiring a chunky hand-held scanner to scan them, many modern cell phones can scan them.

How can you use QR codes to benefit search marketing?

We are only just scratching the surface of how they will be used. We have added one to every business listing in our directory. Here are a few examples of how others are using them.

How best to use them?

Your business, no matter how small or large, could use codes in a number of ways. You might auto generate one next to every product on your web site containing all the product details, the number to call and the URL link to the page so they can show their friends on their cell phone. You could add one to your business card containing your contact details so its easy for someone to add you to their contacts on their cell phone.

Add them to any print advertising, flyers, posters, invites, TV ads etc containing:

* Product details

* Contact details

* Offer details

* Event details

* Competition details

* A coupon

* Twitter, Facebook, MySpace IDs

* A link to your YouTube video
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