Monday, May 21, 2012

QR codes have been gaining popularity over the past few years. These two-dimensional barcodes are scanned using an app for smartphones or tablets and can lead the user to additional information. 
Many companies are using QR codes in their marketing efforts to lead consumers to their website or landing page. But QR codes aren't solely beneficial for retail companies to use on products. There are plenty of creative ways that companies are using QR codes.



Reach the afterlife.

A gravestone company in Indiana recently started offering their customers the opportunity to add a QR code to their headstones. The QR code can lead people to the obituary of the deceased as well as connect them to a website dedicated as a memorial to the individual. These sites can contain biographies and photos, and other users can also add personal messages and their own photos of the deceased. The QR code also enables users to send text messages to the deceased as a way to stay in contact with those loved ones they have lost. 

Make them a work of art.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art  are a few museums have already started using QR codes on their exhibits. Museums have realized that exhibits and posters can only share so much information. In order to give users more information and provide links to additional resources, these museums have started incorporating QR codes. Through these QR codes, visitors can learn more about the artist, the history behind the artwork as well as see other works of art by the same artist. 
Some museums are also replacing live tours with QR codes. Rather than lead groups with a physical guide, QR codes are allowing visitors to use their smartphones to listen to more information about the museum and its artwork. 
The Smithsonian National Museums in Washington DC use QR codes to make their exhibits more interactive. One QR code led visitors on a scavenger hunt while another led visitors to apps that allowed them to see what they would look like as Neanderthals. 

Say thanks to your customers.

QR codes can be used to say thank you to your customers by giving them a gift. For example, when a customer scans a QR code, they can be led to a coupon for a discount on a product or a free product. Mountain Dew and Taco Bell recently partnered up to give their customers gifts through QR codes. They added QR codes to their cups, and users could scan the code and were led to a free music download. 

Give users information in real time.

QR codes can be constantly updated to provide real-time information. Bus and train stations can use QR codes to provide their passengers with real-time information on their vehicles. Passengers can see delays, find schedules and even receive special offers. 
Trains in Frankfurt, Germany recently started using smart posters in their trains to provide passengers with travel information, special events, points of interest and transportation connections.

Give a personalized gift.

QR codes allow users to do many things, and they can be added to gifts for a more personalized touch. JCPenny gave away "Santa Tags" to their customers during the past holiday season. When a customer scanned the code, they were able to record a personalized voice message to give to their recipient. The tag was then placed on the gift for the recipient to enjoy. 
QR codes can be used in many ways and they’re a great addition to any company and any marketing campaign. The more creative the use, the more beneficial it will be. 



About the Author:
Andreas Svensson is a swedish-born IT specialist who often writes about technology. He also writes about how to keep in touch with your family in other countries and the benefits of an international cell phone service.

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