Have you seen those funny square bar code boxes that seem to be showing up everywhere from CNN to fashion magazines, to a smattering finding their way into the horse world? They're called "QR Codes." QR Codes have been popular for many years in Japan and then made their way throughout Europe before landing here. Though they have been around for some time, they've only increased in popularity in the United States in the last couple of years.
QR Codes are fascinating! Codes are electronically generated via special software and can be printed in or on virtually anything flat(ish). QR codes are scanned by a special "app" that is typically downloaded free on most systems. These universal app's work over a number of tablet and smartphone platforms, and as would be expected, work particularly well on iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones. QR codes take the "scannee" to a specific message (e.g. Chaps on Sale at ChapsR'Us) on a voyage through cyber space straight to a particular website, to a Facebook/Twitter or other social media page, or (drum roll please) to Youtube video's or video's imbedded in websites.
Yeah, that's cool... so how does that help us horse people? It helps us immensely! Unfortunately we now live in an instant gratification society, QR Codes work right into that-marketing wise. These little codes can be placed on your next Stallion ad. Said ad can be put up at your next show or published in a mazine (either print or digital). Mare breeder comes by, see's your stallion ad/flyer, notices the code, scans it and is taken to voila: an amazing video of your horse. This is also a great tool on horse-for-sale-flyers. Take a potential buyer directly to your sale horse's video placed either on a website or, on Youtube itself. No more emailing back and forth or hunting for a link. As a trainer or clinician you can drive potential clients to a cool video of your last win, or your last clinic or fun event. For products and businesses it's a useful method to include coded messages about sales and make an ad more fun and interactive. And best yet, they can take a "scannee" directly to a "Buy Now" or Paypal button on your website. Talk about shortening the sales cycle!
Yeah, but are they reliable? These codes work surprisingly well. I have a Blackberry Torch and as a test all summer long I've been scanning every code I find on various platforms to see if they'll work for our market. So far, I'm glad to report I've had excellent results. I have scanned codes off my computer monitor, off my TV (it was dusty, too), off a t'shirt, glossy print brochures, newsprint ads, and last night off the back of a ketchup bottle during dinner. Bottom line, they work pretty darn good. I'm a believer.
If you're ready to start promoting that Stallion for next season, have a horse for sale, or want to offer an interactive experience in an upcoming ad or promotional campaign, consider adding QR Codes. Let us know if we can help you get started on a marketing project!