Monday, December 13, 2010

Using QR Codes in Healthcare Marketing

Have you ever considered using Quick Response(QR)Codes in your healthcare marketing? Do you even know what a QR Code is?

For those who may be unfamiliar with QR codes, they were developed by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994 for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing. It is called QR Code for Quick Response Code because it is intended for its content to be decoded at high-speed. The QR Code is a two-dimensional code consisting of black modules arranged in a square on white background. It is readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera and smartphones. QR Code™ is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated.

QR Codes are used with regularity in marketing in most other parts of the world.  The U. S. lags in use.

Its About Convenience

This is really a convenience application aimed at mobile phone users. And I think it has great application for use in the healthcare industry. Mobile-tagging as it is called, provides you the ability to communicate information to a user, be it the URL to your website or micro site, phone number of an account representative, display text or used to compose an email or text message. The QR Code can be placed in newspaper ads, magazines, billboards, buses, direct mail, email messages, web sites, blogs , in just about any medium you can think of.

Immediate Response for Return on Marketing Investment

Now instead of asking someone to dial a number, go to a web site, your QR Code in whatever medium you are using can be scanned immediately with the users phone or a QR scanner and the information accessed. It could be connecting the users phone to a wireless network and placing the call. It could be to a web site or specific page or even find-a-doc. You can measure the effects of your campaign immediately.

QR Codes are free and can be generated by any number of sites on the web. I used Google to find a site and randomly picked delivr. The QR Code for this blog was generated at delivr. It is very easy to create your own QR Code and took less than 30 seconds.

For example, below is the QR Code for my blog:

It contains the URL to get you here. I can now place this on business cards, emails, text messages, ads, any medium really to direct traffic to my site. Scan and go. Literally no waiting. No typing in an address. Nor waiting till I get home to use the computer or find a wifi hot spot for the laptop. Naturally, a users smart phone needs the app but those are readily available and free as well. You may want to include a QR Code reader app on you web site for mobile phone users with smartphones to download if they do not have one. Some smartphones using the Android operating system already have the app. Point the phones camera, take the picture, use the app. That all it takes.

QR Codes are known as a physical world hyperlink or in my world, PWH for short.

Of course there are message size limits and variants called Micro QR Codes which are essentially smaller versions of the standard QR Code applications. I am not going to delve into any more detail of this because so much information is available on the web and easily understood that you can do this yourself.

So as 2010 begins to come to a close, start looking at how applications in other industries can kick-start your 2010 healthcare marketing to another level and increase your customers convenience for using you, your products, your services, generating revenue and strengthening your brand.

You can continue the conversation with me on:


Michael Krivich is a senior healthcare marketing executive and internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger read daily in over 20 countries around the world. A Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives as well as a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association, he can be reached at or 815-293-1471 for hiring as your senior marketing executive , for interim assignments in all aspects of healthcare marketing whether it be strategic or tactical market planning, rebuilding and revitalizing your existing marketing operation, integration of sales and marketing teams, media relations or service line revitalizations. Huthwaite SPIN selling trained and a Miller Heiman Strategic Selling alumni, both highly respected and successful international sales training organizations , I can lead your organization though the challenge of integrating sales and marketing.


Dan said...

Thanks for the interesting post. Using QR codes within medical marketing collateral is a very intriguing idea. This technique should contribute to practice branding as well as provide a great way to track traffic.

Crystal Uppercue said...

Have you heard of health care organizations using QR codes to consolidate benefits statements? Any other examples you have of health care organizations using QR codes would be appreciated.

Olivia Maya said...

Very enlightening stuff.