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How Defense Contractors Can Use QR Codes to Supercharge Their Marketing

For defense contractors, QR codes can be marketing "force multipliers" for trade shows, business cards, direct mail, catalogs, advertising and product interaction.


QR codes (for Quick Response) were initially developed by a Toyota subsidiary in 1994 for tracking parts.  When a QR code is scanned by a camera-enabled smart phone, it can then be linked to digital content on the web, to activate a number of functions on the phone such as as email or text, or go directly to a web browser.

Some smartphones have QR code scanners preloaded.  Otherwise, a variety of QR code scanners can be easily downloaded.

A popular use of QR codes is to link to a video about the product being scanned (like on a retail product such as a bottle of wine), or to take the customer to a mobile website about the product.

QR codes are easily created (for free) on a number of QR code generators on the Internet such as Kaywa.  Popular for years in Japan and Asia, QR code usage is growing in the United States, along with the adoption of smart phones such as the iPhone and Droid.

While very popular for business-to-consumer marketing, QR codes can also be used for defense contractors looking to engage people with their brand.

Here are some examples of how defense contractors can use QR codes to deepen interaction with their brand:

Business Cards - a QR code on a business card enables someone to upload your contact information directly to their smartphone without the hassle of typing in all the information.

Trade Shows - suppose you can't interact with everyone that goes by your booth.  By posting a QR code, visitors can scan it and be taken to a website that demonstrates the product and enters them to win a prize.  Or it invites them to a special, after-hours event.  By allowing people to scan the code, you're offering them an invitation to a relationship that might not otherwise have been initiated.

Product Literature, Catalogs, Print Advertising, Direct Mail - the QR code connects the offline to the online.  Someone browsing a trade publication with an ad for one of your products can scan a QR code and be taken to a video about the product, thus enhancing their understanding of your product or service.  The same applies to sales literature that is distributed to prospects, as well as catalogs and direct mail.

Product Interaction - For post-sale, QR codes can be placed on products linking users to information seeking technical information, or to solicit product feedback.

Click here to download a free eBook from Hubspot about QR codes, Connecting QR Codes with Consumers.

or view the SlideShare presentation below.

The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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