Part III: Using QR Codes to Market, Package, Network and Sell

February 28, 2011

The landslide of available digital information applications is impacting the building industry in a significant way. Quick-response codes – QR codes as they are best known – are now becoming more common in the building industry. This includes building owners and developers, architects, engineers, municipalities and contractors. This last entry of our three-part series provides information on QR codes uses for marketing, packaging and sales purposes.

2D codes

With the advent of mobile marketing, Quick Response (QR) codes may be one of the next big things in product packaging, says Len Ostroff, CEO at Informous, a vertical marketing search engine for packaging. In turn, by projecting this perspective to other fields, new tools like this promise to impact how materials and products are eventually packaged and sent to construction job sites.

“Smart packaging design already leaves room for displaying websites and social media connected to a given product,” says Ostroff. He provides this concluding takeaway: “If including social media is the packaging trend of today, QR codes are the trend of tomorrow.”

Since most of today’s product packaging includes a QR code that’s scanned during inventory and checkout, it is not far-reaching to include QR codes will are designed for the consumer, Ostroff points out.

“For example,” he says, “a QR code on a bag of flour could lead to a website bursting with recipes, extensive nutritional information, and pictures of the farm where its grains were grown.”

For the green building field, a QR code on an HVAC package might lead to information about alternative forms of energy management systems for a building or home. The list of possible applications for builders, engineers, architects and others seems unlimited.

The reason? QR codes can serve as portals to the types of content that social media provides today, especially since most smart phones have QR code scanners pre-installed. Today’s consumers don’t have the time or patience to go home, boot up their computers, open a browser, and type in a web address (which they’ve probably already forgotten), Ostroff says. “Instead, they’ll whip out their smart phone, scan the code, and consume the content directly on their mobile device.”

Ryan Lundquist, head of the Lundquist Appraisal Company, asks this key question on his blog: “Are you using QR codes for your Sacramento business yet?”

Lundquist points out that a real estate agent can customize these codes to store information like websites, directions, your contact information, and so many other types of data. He provides this example of his FHA presentation document.

Here’s a video on How to make your own QR codes for free

Today, there are no precise formulas yet in the green building industry for using QR codes but there are examples already that can be explored to see if the glove fits.


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Glenn Meyers

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.
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