QR Codes & Mobile Marketing

Have you come across a QR code yet? See this as an example:

All you need is a QR code reader built into your mobile phone – either natively within Android phones, or a free QR app for the iPhone. Then scan the code, and instantly your phone will execute one of a number of predetermined tasks:

  • hotlink the phone’s browser to a URL – scanning the above image, for example, takes you to the homepage our blog at Stem;
  • initiate a phone call;
  • display an image, business card, etc;
  • download a v-card;
  • or display a simple text message, to name a few.

These 2-dimensional bar codes are becoming a rising standard for delivering digital offerings from the physical world. You can find them when flipping through magazines and newspapers, or maybe on a billboard in the trendy area of the city. In the digital space, it’s not difficult to imagine a future of advanced functionality: allowing us to endorse or friend via social media, register for an event, or develop interesting promotional messages.

Generating these codes, by the way, is also easy; with a number of free web-based QR code generators available online. Google ‘QR generators‘ to see a selection of free websites that might help.

I’m only hitting the tip of the iceberg here in terms of what QR codes have the potential to deliver. And obviously, there’s a big question as to how fast this technology might go mainstream. However, considering the incredibly fast adoption of smart phones, and the rise of mobile marketing generally, it’s not inconceivable that QR Codes might become a valuable mobile tech-tool that lawyers and firms may employ.

And if not, there’s always the ability to share “a good lawyer joke” with your friends:


  1. Susannah Tredwell

    For Blackberry users, you can scan the code using Blackberry Messenger. (Although my Blackberry refused to scan the lawyer joke. Presumably it has no sense of humour.)

  2. Ok, since my own scanner only picks up the joke every 3rd scan, here’s the text…

    “NASA was interviewing professionals to be sent to Mars. Only one could go.

    The first applicant, an engineer, was asked how much he wanted to be paid. “A million dollars,” he answered, “because I want to donate it to M.I.T.”

    The next applicant, a doctor, was asked the same question. He asked for $2 million. “I want to give a million to my family,” he explained, “and leave the other million for the advancement of medical research.”

    The last applicant was a lawyer. When asked how much money he wanted, he whispered in the interviewer’s ear, “Three million dollars.”

    “Why so much more than the others?” asked the interviewer.

    The lawyer replied, “If you give me $3 million, I’ll give you $1 million, I’ll keep $1 million, and we’ll send the engineer to Mars.”

  3. You’ll find links to some of the QR generators here:
    and the link to a good overview “and some innovative ways in which they can be used in libraries” here: http://www.slaw.ca/2010/06/29/possibilities-of-barcodes/

  4. The smaller code for your strategy blog scanned right away using the barcode scanner app on my android phone. The lawyer joke didn’t which means my phone is smarter than I thought.

    I have seen these around here on real estate posters and our Rotary Club uses them on its signs to lead users to the club web site and some Rotarians have caught on and used them.

  5. I think Freud was on top of this previously, I saw a butterfly