Idea: Way to bring businesses to you

24 replies
I've been brainstorming ideas on how to bring businesses to me, rather than having to cold call them, and I came up with this little diddy. I know the only way to find out if it'll work is to do it, but I thought I'd run it by the group to see if I could improve it before I executed it.

Here's my idea.

Recently, I've noticed QR codes popping up in a lot more places, but the one that REALLY caught my eye was in the sports section of my local wal-mart. Almost all of the treadmills for sale have a QR code so you can scan and watch a demo of them.

The other day, there was a gentleman standing there asking his wife what all these bar-codes were so I took a second to explain (and demonstrate using my iphone) what they were and how they were helping sell these treadmills.

He was amazed! Come to find out, he's also a local real estate agent and I'm now setting up a set of QR codes that will direct potential buyers to virtual tours for each of his listings! Pretty exciting stuff! (note that little nugget of gold)

Anyway, so that's when the idea clicked. I came home and threw together this mock up idea of a card.


(Please note that the QR code is just a redirect to a youtube video for placement, and I have no idea if you can get a QR scanner from m.att.com... like i said, this is just a mock up.)

The plan:
Place these cards in places that will attract attention, say... right by the treadmills in wal-mart (a la guerrilla marketing style)...

When a business owner comes across the card, the instructions will tell him/her how to be able to scan it (I'll also put a backup website address in case they don't have a smart phone and they can take the card).

When they scan the card, it will take them to a mobile squeeze page with a video demo on how they can get their free QR code from me, just "enter their details here". you get the idea.

Then, I'll go about contacting them and setting up their free QR code, and upselling them on various services.


Additional tip:
For those of you that don't know, you can make REALLY easy QR codes through bitly | Basic | a simple URL shortener by simply adding ".qr" to the end of any bit.ly link..

So, you shorten the url using bit.ly, then copy and paste that link into a browser window and add .qr to the end of it and it takes you to a page with an automatically generated QR code that forwards to wherever your bit.ly link goes... It also tracks within your bit.ly account.

Simply right click, save as and boom... there's your QR code. Easy Peasy.


What say you, forum?
#bring #businesses #idea
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    Yes, bad idea. How long do you think Wal-Mart is going to allow your cards to live on their sales floor?
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    • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
      Originally Posted by Steven Carl Kelly View Post

      Yes, bad idea. How long do you think Wal-Mart is going to allow your cards to live on their sales floor?

      Haha... That's just ONE place... not the ONLY place I could leave them. I was just using it as an example.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
        Hard to tell whats in it for the business. We give out free QR code signs and stickers to local businesses, and each one is branded with our logo and Web address and a smaller QR for our business. Believe me, these folks are happy to stick those up on their window and by the register. On top of that, if they don't purchase any of our other services on that day and misplace our materials, our contact information is firmly affixed to their front door and their cash register.
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      • Profile picture of the author T.R. McCarroll
        Originally Posted by mr2monster View Post

        Haha... That's just ONE place... not the ONLY place I could leave them. I was just using it as an example.
        In my area the real estate agents have flyer boxes on the real estate signs in front of the homes for passer-by's to grab ... have the code on the flyer directing to a video showing the inside of home and to the agents website for other video's

        T.R.
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        • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
          Originally Posted by sitefurnace View Post

          I still don't get this QR thing. I am an avid smart phone user and even If I came across one of these things I wouldn't have the ability to scan it. I know you need an app to scan it but that's a massive hoop to jump through to scan something that I'm not really bothered about.

          Picture this: walking around ASDA with the wife and come across an item with QR code. Now I need to go to my app store, find an app that will do this, download, probably register......All on a patchy 3G connection...it ain't gonna happen! - AND IM A NERD/GEEK/DWEEB i usually lap this sort of thing up big time.

          My wife/mum/nan/friend/lover/anyone I know is just going to look at this and instantly want to go and boil their head.

          Please some one explain how this works for the real people in the world, the ones that we are targeting.
          Have you seen this?
          http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...-qr-codes.html

          I'm kind of the same way... I never looked into them at all, because I didn't use them. I still don't really use them. But when I found someone that wanted to, it clicked that maybe I'm not the target market.

          The target market is the people that DO use them. And there are definitely people that do..

          Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

          Two quick examples come to mind, nothing sexy, just effective for many people:

          For a Restaurant:

          Join our VIP list and save 10% right now!
          Simply Text "JimmysPizza" to 123-456-7890

          Or scan this code to be added to the VIP list instantly!

          Business Card Use for QR Code:

          A person or business could put a QR code on their business card that contains all of their information, like name, business name, address, email address, website, etc.

          You can type all the business information into your contact database on your smart phone one tap at a time, or simply scan the QR code on the card which will automatically fill in the contact information for you.

          Those are two quick ways to use QR codes that save people time. May not be interesting enough to some people, but other people love them.

          QR codes are simply a tool and will be as boring or as cool as you make them. Once I downloaded a QR code scanner, I found myself using it a lot, and I see them popping up everywhere.

          Dennis
          Exactly. There has to be some benefit to scanning the thing.

          Sure businesses can just use them to ad their contact info to someone's phone, but that's not really any incentive to boot up the app.

          In the example of my new Realtor guy... He noticed that people would call him and want to see more of the property and would ask for a website or something before they'd commit to taking a real tour... So, a virtual tour plumbed right into the display sign is a definite enticement to someone standing on the outside, wanting to see the inside..

          I equate it to a squeeze page. Sure, you could just ask someone to fill out their information, but you'll get a heap more takers if you provide and incentive to do so.

          Originally Posted by Bill Breed View Post

          Mr2Monster love the real estate application! Does the realtor supply you with video tours of his listings for you to use? Is there a certain template you are using for the lead page the video rests on?

          Bill
          We're still working out the details. A road block that I've run into so far is that many virtual tours are done on a flash based environment... which makes them quite hard to view on the iPhone since it doesn't do flash..

          For my prototype, I'm working with WpTouch and wordpress to make a quick mobile site, which is where the user would be sent. Then, there'd be a couple options: Tour this home, Get More Info (mobile squeeze).

          Originally Posted by Tiduslite8 View Post

          Not many are aware that Google has a link shortening service, you can find it at goo.gl
          Apparently, adding .qr to the end of the goo.gl link will also take you to a generated code. Very nice to know.
          I didn't know this. Thanks!

          Originally Posted by Steve Solem View Post

          It's definitely not something every prospect can make use of now, but I think it's worth it for businesses to use QR codes for those that are able and interested enough to scan a code for additional info about a product or service.

          Not everyone has email or internet access today, but I'd still encourage business owners to use those methods so they can reach those who choose to use them.

          Cheers,

          Steve
          Exactly!

          Originally Posted by T.R. McCarroll View Post

          In my area the real estate agents have flyer boxes on the real estate signs in front of the homes for passer-by's to grab ... have the code on the flyer directing to a video showing the inside of home and to the agents website for other video's

          T.R.
          Yeah, we plan on putting them on basically all the offline marketing that he does for each property. Good idea, thanks for the input!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Murphy
    Hi Mr2Monster,

    I think it's a neat idea. The only part I would shy away from is placing them in stores without permission. That's obviously a personal decision, but you might get a not-so-friendly call from the business. And depending on how connected a business is, they might tell other owners to avoid doing business with you.

    However, I bet there would be plenty of places though that would let you place them for free if you asked, especially since QR codes are new to many people and it could make their customers experience easier, thus making the sales process for them easier.

    Dennis
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    • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
      Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

      Hi Mr2Monster,

      I think it's a neat idea. The only part I would shy away from is placing them in stores without permission. That's obviously a personal decision, but you might get a not-so-friendly call from the business. And depending on how connected a business is, they might tell other owners to avoid doing business with you.

      However, I bet there would be plenty of places though that would let you place them for free if you asked, especially since QR codes are new to many people and it could make their customers experience easier, thus making the sales process for them easier.

      Dennis

      I also thought about positioning it as an educational thing for places like coffee shops and such. Maybe set them up with their own QR code in exchange for letting me put the cards there... kind of a perpetual marketing system.

      "Here's a QR code to help market your stuff, don't worry about your customers not knowing how to use them, they can see a demo on this card..." That kind of thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author sitefurnace
    I still don't get this QR thing. I am an avid smart phone user and even If I came across one of these things I wouldn't have the ability to scan it. I know you need an app to scan it but that's a massive hoop to jump through to scan something that I'm not really bothered about.

    Picture this: walking around ASDA with the wife and come across an item with QR code. Now I need to go to my app store, find an app that will do this, download, probably register......All on a patchy 3G connection...it ain't gonna happen! - AND IM A NERD/GEEK/DWEEB i usually lap this sort of thing up big time.

    My wife/mum/nan/friend/lover/anyone I know is just going to look at this and instantly want to go and boil their head.

    Please some one explain how this works for the real people in the world, the ones that we are targeting.
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    • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
      I'm a little like you sitefurnace.

      Read a post earlier that a tradesman could put the code on their van so people could scan it and get their website and number.

      But the van would have cleared off by that time and most people would just write the number down or enter it on their phone and save it I would have thought.

      Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Murphy
    Two quick examples come to mind, nothing sexy, just effective for many people:

    For a Restaurant:

    Join our VIP list and save 10% right now!
    Simply Text "JimmysPizza" to 123-456-7890

    Or scan this code to be added to the VIP list instantly!

    Business Card Use for QR Code:

    A person or business could put a QR code on their business card that contains all of their information, like name, business name, address, email address, website, etc.

    You can type all the business information into your contact database on your smart phone one tap at a time, or simply scan the QR code on the card which will automatically fill in the contact information for you.

    Those are two quick ways to use QR codes that save people time. May not be interesting enough to some people, but other people love them.

    QR codes are simply a tool and will be as boring or as cool as you make them. Once I downloaded a QR code scanner, I found myself using it a lot, and I see them popping up everywhere.

    Dennis
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  • Profile picture of the author sitefurnace
    I still think there is a weak link in all this.

    Many will quote figures about how many people use smart phones these days. In my experience a lot of those people use these phones for the simplicity it brings.

    I can't help but keep thinking of my wife when it comes to this. I literally forced an iPhone on her and she now loves it, but she doesn't even know the icon for the app store.

    She would look at a QR code and have such a blank look on he face that Terry wogan would pop up and try to give her a check book and pen.

    Maybe things will change, maybe here in the uk is a little behind the states with this, maybe this is too clever for it's own good, who knows - maybe the real challenge is educating people.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Solem
      Originally Posted by sitefurnace View Post

      I can't help but keep thinking of my wife when it comes to this. I literally forced an iPhone on her and she now loves it, but she doesn't even know the icon for the app store.

      She would look at a QR code and have such a blank look on he face that Terry wogan would pop up and try to give her a check book and pen.
      It's definitely not something every prospect can make use of now, but I think it's worth it for businesses to use QR codes for those that are able and interested enough to scan a code for additional info about a product or service.

      Not everyone has email or internet access today, but I'd still encourage business owners to use those methods so they can reach those who choose to use them.

      Cheers,

      Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author MsMotivation1
      the nice thing about it is that you only have to download the app once... after that, scanning a qr code is as easy as taking a pic with your camera phone... which is basically what you'll be doing.

      i was shocked at how easy it was to download my qr reader app and start scanning qr codes... everytime i show this technology to people, they are like "wow... that's cool!"

      it may not be super popular in the US right now, but it's coming...


      Originally Posted by sitefurnace View Post

      I still think there is a weak link in all this.

      Many will quote figures about how many people use smart phones these days. In my experience a lot of those people use these phones for the simplicity it brings.

      I can't help but keep thinking of my wife when it comes to this. I literally forced an iPhone on her and she now loves it, but she doesn't even know the icon for the app store.

      She would look at a QR code and have such a blank look on he face that Terry wogan would pop up and try to give her a check book and pen.

      Maybe things will change, maybe here in the uk is a little behind the states with this, maybe this is too clever for it's own good, who knows - maybe the real challenge is educating people.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Breed
    Mr2Monster love the real estate application! Does the realtor supply you with video tours of his listings for you to use? Is there a certain template you are using for the lead page the video rests on?

    Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author Tiduslite8
    Additional tip:
    For those of you that don't know, you can make REALLY easy QR codes through bitly | Basic | a simple URL shortener by simply adding ".qr" to the end of any bit.ly link..

    So, you shorten the url using bit.ly, then copy and paste that link into a browser window and add .qr to the end of it and it takes you to a page with an automatically generated QR code that forwards to wherever your bit.ly link goes... It also tracks within your bit.ly account.

    Simply right click, save as and boom... there's your QR code. Easy Peasy.
    Not many are aware that Google has a link shortening service, you can find it at goo.gl
    Apparently, adding .qr to the end of the goo.gl link will also take you to a generated code. Very nice to know.
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  • Profile picture of the author pmbrent
    that's a cool bit ly trick, I never knew you could do that...
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  • Profile picture of the author Headfirst
    I just PM'ed you some promo materials I use when promoting QR codes.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author kiranraj19
    Build website for your business & promote it in on the search engines. After getting good ranking on the search engines, you will get leads for your business
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  • Profile picture of the author Sondor
    While I think QR codes are pure awesomeness, I wouldn't expect they'll work effectively in a public situation where you need to 'educate' the user. Those who already know about them love 'em, and those who don't will continue to ignore 'em until they finally get curious enough to ask a friend or family member.

    ...I think your Real Estate idea is great though! People who are familiar w/ QR codes who pull the flier will love the QR code link to video!
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  • Profile picture of the author MakeSmiles
    Lots of people LOVE QR Codes. Gives a whole new meaning to "Window Shopping". The more they are seen, the more it peaks curiosity. People don't like to be left out. Given time, more and more people will take it upon themselves to find out about QR Codes and what they need to scan them. It's just a matter of time...

    Hey McDonalds, how about printing QR codes on all those peel-off tabs on your food containers, one of which is worth a million bucks. That's sure to kick-off uptake of QR Codes in the US... and around the world.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    I know a couple people were saying that it's a pain to use QR Codes due to having to download an app? What? Besides, most phones come with a QR Code reader. It's the barcode reader. It will read barcodes and do comparison shopping for you. So, it is really handy. As well as reads QR Codes.

    And you don't have to educate consumers on the matter. All the big brand names are already doing it. Look at Macy's... They now have a QR Code in the middle of their logo that they display in their commercials.
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  • Profile picture of the author mavmav
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author want2knowhow
      Originally Posted by mavmav View Post

      Sounds interesting but i wouldn't want to pull that off.
      As they say..."You're never going to please everybody--so don't bother wasting your time trying!" and "Everything ain't for everybody."
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