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Jury's Still Out On QR Codes

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media, September 21, 2011
The Positives

All six healthcare marketing professionals at my table were in the beginning stages of figuring out how to adapt QR codes to their needs. One of the features of QR codes is that they are easy to create. Websites such as Wasp Barcode Technologies allow users to  generate unique QR codes for free. Yes, I said the "F" word. The codes can be had for free and can be printed on nearly any surface and location such as---

  • Newspapers
  • TV ads
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Product packaging
  • Clothing
  •  Cake frosting

Sue-Ann M. Villano, Director CPMP Marketing, Communications & Practice Services, is testing out QR codes in a letter to 2,300 referring physicians this week. The letter includes a QR code linking to a website with a short survey.

"[The survey includes] referral guides which we have been producing for over 6 years in order to gather info about their likes, dislikes, and/or wants so that we can update them over the next year or consider just utilizing the online printable directory," Villano said in an email.

Villano has found positive results using QR codes for other communication engaging physicians, saying response rate was "through the roof." Though the codes are simple, the message needs to be well crafted. What will it link to? What's the message/end result? So what?

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6 comments on "Jury's Still Out On QR Codes"


Mike Losee (9/23/2011 at 4:09 PM)
Great article and very topical points. I hosted a roundtable at SHSMD on Mobile marketing and the QR code issues of relevancy and knowing your audience were key parts of the discussion. It's great to see the SHSMD attendees emphasize that you simply can't "QR code just for the sake of QR coding". Hopefully, all of the C-suites will agree!

Zach (9/22/2011 at 2:59 PM)
Interesting article - QR codes are definitely growing in use. However, in order for them to be effective, you have to deliver quality content. Whether you are marketing your brand with QR codes, SMS short codes, or StarStar Numbers, you need to deliver your customers something valuable. Thanks for the article!

Zach (9/22/2011 at 2:53 PM)
Interesting article - QR codes are definitely growing in use. However, in order for them to be effective, quality content must be delivered. Whether you are promoting your brand with QR codes, sms short codes, or StarStar Numbers, you need to deliver something of value to your customers. Thanks for the article!