The QR Code Diaries Part One –My Experience Running a QR Code Campaign.

I first came across QR codes properly at the start of 2011, when I signed up for a course in local and mobile marketing offered via an internet marketer called Ryan Deiss – the course being hosted by a lady by the name of Laura Betterly.

I have bought a number of products and courses in the past on-line and have been on occasion less than impressed with the quality and value offered. However I was pleasantly surprised by this course, as the content was of high quality and well laid out. Also for the price I paid, there was a lot of information there.

Local and Mobile Marketing

In fact there was so much there that I am still going through it to get a proper understanding of it all, certainly the parts about marketing the peoples mobile phone (or cellphone, depending on which part of the world you live in) as I think that is going to be a massive growth market.

The part that really caught my attention was the section on QR codes, and I could quickly see that there was massive potential to use this for marketing all sorts of things.

QR codes now appear on this site, on the back of my business cards, and also on the leaflets of a friends restaurant too. It is the latter that I will be blogging about as we go through a brand new campaign to see if we can attract more customers to spend more in his restaurant.

A Bit Of Background…

QR, or Quick Response codes, are basically two dimensional bar codes that were invented by a Japanese car manufacturer in the mid 1990s to keep track of inventory.

They can be coded by the creator to include text, links to websites, E mail addresses, social media profiles and any number of other content besides. Here is the code that appears on the QR code page of my site:

I am now running a campaign for a client of mine who owns and runs an Indian restaurant. I will be writing about that in the weeks to come, and also sharing how we developed his campaign.

It will be a chance for you to learn from my mistakes, and if you’ve also bought the course, you can follow along and perhaps add some comments in case you have anything to add – I am all ears!

Today’s Tip

OK so for today’s tip, to start us off, what QR code reader should you download for your smartphone?

After much investigation and research, and ploughing through the tons of free apps, I settled for i-Nigma. It is free from the App Store (for iphones of course) and the latest version automatically opens the camera and scans the code, making it much quicker to use. So that is my recommendation here – no affiliate link, just a good free recommendation!

Next time I will be talking about the first part of any advertising campaign – discussing the concept, identifying the target market and getting the buy-in of your client.

In the meantime, leave a comment below and let me know your views on QR codes and experiences you’ve had in using them in marketing, either for yourself or someone else.

Phil Clark is a prolific blogger and marketer who is spreading the word to businesses about the power of content marketing.  Phil is also heavily involved in local search and mobile marketing, as well as a convert to the power of QR codes in campaigns!  More at
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  1. They were everywhere at SXSW and I’ve begun to see them more mainstream.

    Unfortunately there are a lot of missed opportunities where people use them as “click to display ads” rather than engagement or lead gen tools.

    The best I’ve seen were done by Sephora. They complimented a print ad with a QR code featuring the “making of the ad” video (& make up tutorials).

    (Cross-posted from FB)

  2. Shauna,

    They are definitely becoming more mainstream here in the UK – another site I write for here – – has just asked me to write a QR codes blog post for them too.

    I will have to check the Sephora stuff out, sounds very cool.

  3. I’ve been using QR codes for about two years now. There’s some great free web based QR code generators out there too so anyone can use them.

    I added one to my Contact page last year and I think it’s still there (I don’t remember removing it :) I’ve never tracked their use though to see how many people actually use them. I guess that’s something I should do.

    Great blog post anyway and I look forward to reading more from you.

  4. For Android, just look for one called “Barcode Scanner” by the ZXing team. It’s an invaluable tool and should be on every Android phone.

    I create QR codes for all of my apps, but I haven’t had the chance to make the best use of them yet (e.g. on my business card). I certainly will, as I’m see more adoption outside of just the tech-savvy crowd (who doesn’t like convenient?)

  5. Thanks for the comments guys, very interesting to hear other views and information!