Technology can have a huge impact on the marketing efforts of small businesses. Most of the technology is low cost or free but requires time and a little knowledge to take advantage of. This series of posts will focus on practical examples to apply technology to small business marketing. In this first post, I will detail some practical ways to implement barcodes into small business marketing, with a focus being on QR barcodes.
Smartphones are popular. Those “magic phones” can do a variety of tasks and most people that have them are rarely out of arm’s reach of the devices. Most modern smartphones are capable of scanning barcodes through embedded or third-party applications (one such application that I have used is RedLaser). Through these applications, you can check prices of products online and at local stores as well as get more information on the products themselves. But not all barcodes are equal; there are many variations to the common (or not so common) barcodes.
The standard barcode that most of us are familiar with is considered a one-dimensional (1D) barcode. They are printed on practically all products you buy, encoding a limited amount of specific information that businesses use to identify the product. By utilizing algorithms and encoding methods, more information can be added to the barcode within the same physical space, increasing the density of the information available. With this extra information, smartphone makers and application designers are able to trigger distinct events, such as links to websites, contact information, and text messages among others. There are many different ways to encode the data, but one of the most popular is the QR, or Quick Response barcode. [Read more…]