Use QR codes to reach customers

Tanesha Goss scans the QR code on a movie poster hanging outside Hollywood Theaters at 2501 East Central Texas Expressway in Killeen.

It gets more challenging every day for businesses to grab the attention of consumers bombarded with thousands of products through all forms of media.

Many companies trying to maximize opportunities when they make contact, are turning to quick-response barcodes.

QR codes look a lot like traditional barcodes, but they hold a lot more information.

When consumers scan a QR code on an advertisement, they form an instant link with businesses and a two-way exchange of information begins. Consumers get instant price quotes and more information about a product and businesses glean vital demographic information.

Abdul B. Subhani, managing partner at Centex Technologies in Killeen, said QR code technology is spreading quickly through the local community. Many Central Texas real estate agents use QR codes to market their properties. Subhani said 32 of his real estate clients currently utilize the instant technology.

“QR codes have been very successful for the past three years,” he said. “People can actually scan the QR code and are able to go to the website they are trying to access for that particular property,” he added, explaining how it benefits local real estate agents.

Ashley Liburdi, AT&T business account executive in Central Texas, explained that businesses can use QR codes to connect with consumers in a way never possible before. She said QR codes allow businesses to track what marketing solutions and campaigns are actually working with consumers.

“With these codes, you can route information, which is placed behind the code and will take a customer to a mobile coupon, a Facebook page, or an online sign-up page,” she said. “This data is captured and can be the most valuable marketing tool that you can have for knowing your demographics.”

Liburdi said QR codes aren’t the only new form of marketing taking center stage via smartphones. “Short codes,” which are working phone numbers significantly shorter than traditional seven-digit phone numbers, also are catching on.

“Short codes are on the rise and moving faster than QR codes,” said Liburdi. “AT&T has a product called messaging tool kit, which captures customer information such custom data fields, mobile voting and text blasting.”

Liburdi explains that once a person dials or texts the short code, he or she instantly receives a message containing information about a product or event. Consumers can easily opt out of receiving further messages. She said short codes are used often to obtain ring tones, mobile services and to get more information about a particular event or product.

“Once the person opts to receive information, their data will be collected,” she said. “When the customer clicks on the link provided on the text, a window will open to a website where there I can get more information about them and even reroute them to the event Facebook.”

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