It seems everyone these days has a smartphone, such as the iPhone and Android phones. But how many companies actually use this to their advantage when it comes to marketing and social media? Enter QR codes.

QR codes have actually been around since the mid-90’s, but haven’t been taken advantage of until recently. Now anyone can scan these square QR codes and access the information they contain using only a smartphone’s camera and an application, “app”, that will read QR codes.

But where are these QR codes to be used? Considering the amount of information a QR code can contain, there are any number of uses for it, especially in print marketing. In Japan, there is widespread use of mobile technology, so QR codes are used everywhere from magazines to billboards, even on sides of buildings!

What are some general uses of QR codes? If you are the type that likes to go to social events, you can put a QR code on your business card. Give your business card to people and they can instantly put your contact information in their phone just by scanning the QR code. Have a special event coming up? Just put a QR code on your marketing materials so people can save the date in their mobile device’s calendar.

What information can QR codes contain? QR codes can contain various types of data:

  • Calendar Event Information
  • Contact Information (vCards)
  • URL or Email Address
  • Geo Location (for use in maps/navigation)
  • Phone Number
  • SMS/Text Message
  • WiFi Access Info (SSID, Password, Encryption Type)
  • Plain Text (up to 250 characters)

The use of these codes is only limited by your marketing creativity. In case you aren’t the creative type, here are some other articles to get you started:

“Top 5 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes” – Foxy Propaganda
“QR Code Creativity” – i am produced (blog)
“5 Unique Uses for QR Codes” – Mashable

To find out more about QR codes and to find readers for your mobile phone, visit

To generate your own QR codes for free, I recommend the ZXing Project’s QR Code Generator.

Feel free to scan the QR code in this article to see how it works

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