Frank J. Borkowski

My previous column covered some simple and overlooked ways that you can drive traffic to your website and ended with a mention of 2-D barcodes, also known as QR codes (for Quick Response). These are the odd little square symbols that are starting to show up in magazine ads, product literature, and a host of other places.

What You See

Only smartphones or cameras with the right software installed can snap the QR code, and when they do, in seconds the viewer is rewarded with whatever digital goodies the author wanted them to have — digital product literature, installation instructions, a link to a website, or a video about the product. It’s genius.

Remodelers should be putting QR codes on their trucks and jobsite signs, in their print ads, brochures, and on their business cards, even on company T-shirts. What you send back to your visitors is only limited by your imagination. How about a YouTube video with happy customers giving a glowing testimonial and then a few words from the company owner? Or before-and-after shots of your projects?

Use QR codes to tell “the rest of the story,” or just drive consumers to your marketing website — right to the Contact Us form.

Get Going

You need only two things to get started: a creator and a reading application. You can find a basic Web-based creator at The site also has a great free reader. It’s available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry smartphones.

Keep in mind that not everyone knows about QR codes yet. So your ad might need to include a blurb and a link to the reader so consumers know how to use it. For example: Click the code for more information … No reader? Download at (URL here).

—Joe Stoddard is an industry consultant helping remodelers be successful with their technology.;