Seen anything resembling the image below (right) before? They're appearing more and more frequently in various places. They are known as QR (Quick Response) codes.Originally developed in Japan for tracking parts, these codes are being used in many places to provide additional information to people with smartphones and tablets. Believe it or not, these codes can contain up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters.
QR codes are a type of bar code. They are read by smartphones and tablets using free software. You can find them in Dynamic Chiropractic (the print version) for the Advertisers Directory on page 32, the Chiropractic Calendar on page 34 and on the front page. Each of these codes takes you to a different part of our Web site, where you can find more information about chiropractic events, vendors and news, respectively.
You may have seen these QR codes in your local community. Restaurants are beginning to display them in their windows to allow passersby to read the menu and learn about the chef. Back in 2009, Google presented 100,000 U.S. businesses with window decals containing QR codes specifically for each business. When scanned, these QR code decals took viewers to places on Google.com where they could learn more about the business, read reviews, etc.
QR codes essentially link the real world with the Web. A quick scan takes the viewer to a Web site, video clip, etc., where they can learn more without filling up a page (or the front of your office) with text.
Creating a window decal for your clinic is much easier than you might think. All you have to do is go to www.dynamicchiropractic.com/windowdecal. There you will find instructions on how to create a QR that directs potential patients to a specific page on your Web site. You can direct them to your home page, or to a page more specifically designed to educate people interested in chiropractic.
Another potential use for a QR code is a special offer for new patients only. You can create a window decal for your clinic that takes viewers to a specific page with a special introductory opportunity. In fact, the QR code below is just such a code. It presents you with a great opportunity to gain greater exposure for you and your practice.
If you scan this QR code with your smartphone or tablet, it will take you to a page on the newly relaunched ChiroFind.com. There, you will find a robust set of features for consumers who are looking to locate a doctor of chiropractic in their area. ChiroFind.com enjoys thousands of searches each month, as it is the chiropractor locator for DynamicChiropractic.com, ChiroWeb.com and other Web sites.
By scanning the QR code in this article, you will be taken to a page where you can create an account and have your own preferred listing on ChiroFind.com for the remainder of 2011. (The usual cost is $9.95 per month.) As you will see, every time a person searches for a DC in their area, preferred listings are presented first based upon where the viewer lives. These preferred listings expand to include practice information, description, location, maps, directions, techniques, services and a link to your Web site. Take a moment to scan the code and see how it works.
QR codes are another tool to provide people on the go with information about you and chiropractic. While there is a temptation to assume that QR codes will only appeal to a younger, smartphone-wielding audience, that audience is expanding rapidly. In fact, my mother (who is approaching 80 years old) just got her first smartphone. Learn how to take advantage of QR codes and reach more patients and potential patients with more information. In the information and technology age, you can't afford to miss out.
Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.