QR codes and how they can help your pet business.

If you've seen odd looking graphic images popping up on advertisements, packaging, business cards, websites, products and other promotional materials lately, then your not alone. These images are called QR codes.

What are QR codes? QR, or Quick Response codes, are types of matrix barcodes designed to be read by smartphones through smartphone applications.

QR codes are similar, but more powerful than the bar codes scanned at checkout when you purchase an item. Standard bar codes are linear one-dimensional codes, whereas QR codes are two-dimensional and can hold much more information, making them more flexible and powerful. Once scanned they can direct you to a url, text or other data.

QR codes have actually been around since 1994 and utilized for various applications. Now they are gaining some traction with the general population of smartphone users; hence the increase in frequency of visibility of the codes.

Early pet businesses that have adopted the use of QR codes are utilizing them in a wide variety of ways such as:
  • ID tags for pets that can be scanned and provide information for a lost pet, medical history, special diets, emergency contact info and more.
  • Placement in advertisements linking to websites where you can purchase or learn more about a pet product.
  • Added to product packaging and POP displays linking to videos of pets playing and/or enjoying the product or also linking to product instructions, product tips and more.
  • Printed on pet sitter and dog walker business cards to allow users to add the business to their contact list, to provide additional information about services, or to email to inquire for more information.
  • At event locations to provide further details about speakers, schedules, location information and more.
  • Providing coupons or discounts to users for pet products and services.
Benefits of QR codes include the ability to:
  • Link to digital content on the web - including video, presentations, maps and more.
  • Activate a number of phone functions including phone calls, email and text, add to contacts, vcards, etc.
  • Connect the smartphone to a web browser link/url - including websites, custom website pages, pdfs, ebooks, social media and more.
The greatest benefit to utilizing QR codes is the ability to connect with your audience, prospects and customers; and share detailed and specific information about your products and services, quickly, efficiently, effectively and easily; which is all what we want to do with our marketing to increase sales.

You can generate your own QR codes for free, just like we did in this blog post. Here are several sites that provide QR code generators: (each one has it's unique features and functions)
To read the QR codes smartphone users utilize applications or QR code readers, including:
The utilization of QR codes in your marketing efforts are only limited by your imagination.

The two most important things to remember when utilizing these codes (as with any new or added marketing tactic) is to fully and completely integrate the use of the codes with your current and planned marketing program(s). And make certain that they work with and supportall of your marketing activities, strategies and implementation. Track the results of QR usage as well; and experiment with different modes of call to action, placement, response, requests and uses, to determine the most effective use of this new and innovative marketing tactic.

In addition you can also create a Microsoft Tag, works very similarly to a QR Code.

And have fun with it!

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