Monday, July 14, 2014

Big Brands and QR Codes 2014

At QR codes of Note, we have long forecasted that when smart phones and tablets reach saturation levels in the public format, marketing with QR codes will get a serious and closer look.

QR codes can perform many tasks, not just a simple visit to a mobile site.

In 2014, big brands like PayPal have already invested in research and development and are now embracing QR codes in a big way: point of sale (POS) transactions by a quick scan of the featured PayPal QR code

Notice this code is not the stand alone, black and white edition standard in marketing in years past. QR code in North America are moving in the direction the rest of the world is already in, and that is, a more visually appealing design and compelling call to action.

When are you getting onboard with QR codes? Are you going to let your competitor beat you to it?  

BIO: Written by branded QR code strategist: Rhonda Smolarek from QR Codes of Note, an industry leader in mobile marketing. Your customer has smart technology and takes it everywhere, you brand message should be easily accessible. For QR designs and their marketing strategy, you may reach Ms. Smolarek at

Friday, March 28, 2014

Vanity Plates for your FB Fanpage or Business Page

We notice that many of our facebook friends who have a Fanpage, for themselves or their business, are using the generated FB URL they received when they created their profile and do not have a customized FB URL. Sometimes we don't know what we don't know! With a customized FB URL, you can simplify the way you add your FB name to your email signature and business communications.

For example, instead of an URL like this:

Which is not easy to remember. Once your page reaches 30 Likes, this number sometimes has changed, you can have an URL like this:

Facebook recommends you consider the extension you'll use prior to committing, and create a "handle" as close as possible  to your public figure name or business name. This change will be permanent, non-transferrable and unalterable.  These usernames can be only Alphanumeric characters [a-z, 0-9] or a period[.].

Once you have given this some thought, go to

Choose "Select a Username...", a drop-down menu appears, select the page you want to make a user name for. If your page has reached 30 Likes (or whatever the number required is today) a box will appear. Then you enter your desired name, FB checks for availability. If that name is available for use, terms for use will appear. If you are happy with the selection, click "confirm" or if not, choose "cancel" in order to try another name.

When you have success, you are ready to share your new Facebook URL:

REMEMBER: this won't work until you have reached 30 or the required number of FB Likes
Questions? Leave your question or comment below and we will answer them!

Bio: Rhonda Smolarek, Social Media coach, Mobile Marketing Graphics and Extraordinary Promo Products. , Let's have a Like-Like relationship!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mobile Marketing...

Look around and take notice that mobile device  use, smartphones and tablets, are pandemic right now. It is time for smart marketing, that is, marketing with mobile strategies.

Share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.

As research and statistics on this eloqua chart reveals, 70% of mobile searches lead to an action within one hour whereas it takes an entire month for the same percentage of desktop users to take action.

81% of smartphone users have performed research via their smartphone.  50% have made a purchase with their smartphone.

Currently, reporting shows that 34% have scanned  a QR (quick response) code with smartphones. Presumably, these scans went to the widespread, plain looking codes. Studies have shown, however, that when QR codes are branded with graphics or logo's, smartphone users are more likely to engage. Whether this is from curiosity or the perceived value from a branded code, it is unmistakable that graphics make a difference.

Graphics are always better than un-adornment when it comes to advertisement but coupling with a value to the scan goes even further. This is evidenced from historical uses of loyalty reward cards that have standard bar codes on them. Offers like "Buy 10 get one free" or "10% member discount" have long encouraged consumers to sign-up for loyalty reward programs.  Since a QR code is a 2-d bar code, in the right marketing hands, these codes can feature customer loyalty reward value in lieu of the oft boring links to a website (Contact QR Codes Of Note for loyalty rewards programming for your marketing projects).

MOBILE MARKETING 2014, it's time to include smart marketing in your game plan. Things are changing and the sooner you get on board, the better for your business goals.

Questions and Comments are always welcome. 

Check out our other articles:
What is a QR code? 
Marketing with a QR code?

BIO: QR Codes Of Note™ , a leader in mobile marketing, invites you to Follow along at to stay current with Mobile Marketing with quick response codes and if you are a SMB (small or medium business) is also a great new site to get good info on Social Media marketing trends as well as webinar training. This group of professionals is lead by Rhonda Smolarek, founder of QR Codes Of Note™, bringing custom QR Codes to life since 2012.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Mobile is Everywhere, Time to Behave?

In 2014, Mobile is everything.  Everything and everywhere. Go to any public place, work place, and or relax place and you will see mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) in use.  Mobile and Social Media go hand in hand, one is used to connect to the other.

What does mobile mean to you as a small business professional? Some timely realization is that with mobile being everything and everywhere, giving thoughtful application to your online presence or footprint is now a timely consideration. In 2014, the competition is fierce for customer experience.  The customer experience begins online for the most part. You and or your business are easily researched, quickly rejected when your posts are considered offensive or you are not credible or even nice. Like it or not, opinions are formed and you are always a click away from that follow. We don't suggest you adopt paranoia, or put your head in the sand, but some skilled awareness about what and how you are sharing are in order.

With Social Media, you are your own media department. Social media is like a really big cocktail party, and the way you conduct yourself and respond to others is noticed by those considering engaging into business and interpersonal relationships with you. Are you falling into pitfalls that are considered online no-no's? Are you sending accurate and positive messages? Are you being off putting without realizing?

Competition heats up in 2014. Unless you are the only one who does what you do, this is the year to be skillful, fun, and engaging simultaneously.  People are using their mobile devices to connect and they are mostly into light hearted, unique, positive and relevant posts. Do you have a blend of these elements in your posts? Do you do what everyone else is doing? Are you paying attention? Are you savvy about new uses with social media?

It is time to brush up on Social Manners and Social Analytics. Social media is not necessarily a big waste of time if you know how to use it to advantage.  If you are not seeing results with social media, however, you are likely wasting your time. 2014 is the year to learn how to win at this fun medium. offers private, personalized webinars where you can ask your pressing questions without 20-40 other classmates present. We also offer small class webinars for a lower price point. Our webinars are recorded for your review at your convenience, they are included in the price of the personal webinar and purchased optionally with a class. Our class times are Mountain Time, we are in the Denver time zone.

Remember, in the year 2014, mobile is everything, make sure you know how to leverage it.

Sources: Gartner: Mobile Forbes: 2014 Mobile Payment 7 Ways to Deal w A-holes on FB Mobile Device Onslaught Tablet Image

Thursday, December 5, 2013


ONE SIZE FITS ALL represents that range called “the majority” and is therefore the desirable zone which retailers of all kinds pursue. The common belief is that if you appeal to the average guy and you will sell more stuff. Image source.

Let us consider for a moment that the average guy isn’t all that tech savvy and you have a tech product to promote because you are, well, a tech nerd.  Do you make a product that appeals to the technologically dim, but massive in terms of the population demographic or do you design a more fun tech oriented product that would have great success if only consumers “got it”?  Pretend you are a passionate, forward thinking QR code nerd and you can not bring yourself to dull down your creativity.  Then you must raise the level of QR code awareness for that average guy. Apply what thinking Henry Ford (Image source) shared about his automobile,  

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

I suggest that those using QR code generation rethink the notion of aiming for ONE SIZE FITS ALL QR code leveraging and put our money on the awesome sauce of fun products that a tech savvy consumer would enjoy.  When I design a QR code product and discuss it among my QR code enthusiast peers, I immediately hear the response “but most people don’t know how to use a QR code”.  And your point is?!!
QR codes do not require quantum physic knowledge and getting people on board with their crazy, fun potential doesn’t mean we have to be super mindful of the audience that isn’t in the know.  Not directly anyway.  Techies have smart phones.  Lots of non-techies have smart phones.  QR codes are launched by tech phones (and tablets).  If you want to increase the QR code product’s potential, design a common interest product and include a QR code.  The techie will “get it” and want it if the product is pretty cool.  His friend, Average Joe will see the cool product and want to keep up with the Joneses and he will figure out the QR code thing.  Which again, is not an advanced rocket science brain application and we can do better than simply using QR codes to go to an URL.  Especially a non mobile friendly URL which is even worse than going to an URL that lacks value for the scanner.

So can we stop treating QR codes like the public can’t figure them out?  The average guy may not get them right away, but this doesn’t mean he can not understand them.  Attach a QR code to something wonderful and let the games begin!

By the way, here is my “something wonderful” product with a QR code on it.  If you are an average Joe and haven’t figured out a QR code yet, download any scan app, they are FREE, and watch The New Holiday Card.  It is not a ONE SIZE FITS ALL product but it does come in a size that I believe a mind can stretch to fit. 

Follow our RSS or connect social media-ly, we welcome new friends.  We also have other products coming soon which feature QR codes and memories.

Written by: Rhonda Smolarek; QR code designer, social media coach, strategist, technology nerd.  Find her online at or or or or at where you can purchase a holiday card like this featuring your own memories: Epifanies

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why People Who Say “QR Codes Are Dead” Should Like Crow

 I commonly research QR (Quick Response) codes online. Why? Because I am patiently waiting for the North American senses to grow sharper. QR code products and marketing are just amazing in other countries! Who am I? I am an artist with a computer programming history and I design compelling Quick Response codes at QR Codes Of Note™. Yes, visually these codes are far more intriguing than that generic black and white square you see hiding like a dull wall flower in the bottom of adds, but more importantly, graphic codes know how to “Make Friends and Influence People” (my nod to Dale Carnegie). QR code: Starbucks 

Here is why people who pronounce “QR codes are dead” need to be fond of crow: Crow is exactly what they will be eating! Their reports are premature. QR codes as a marketing tool have been in their infancy stage here in North America, they haven’t reached their potential. I don’t know about you, but I did not have much success when I was an infant yet years later I really hit my stride. QR codes will, too. People who say these incredible, mobile launched icons won’t be phenominal clearly do not understand the full scope of the QR code range. We test scan our QR codes with the free scan app: i-nigma and invite your scans. 

A QR code can activate just about any feature your smart phone or tablet device can perform. QR codes can instantly position a pre-composed tweet, give map directions, save your date to a calendar, play music and video, and I could go on because this is a tool that is only limited by your imagination.  If you copy everyone and keep it plain in looks and typical in destination, you will continue to get a resounding FAIL in your marketing with QR codes.

Now, you don’t want a FAIL with your QR code. You prefer to “Make Friends and Influence People” which is why you want to deploy a code in the first place. You will need to dress your code up a little. There are QR code generators available that will dress your code up a little. I don't hold a high opinion of QR generators for business branding, they still play small league ball. I would recommend that generators have good functionality for personal projects. Next, include a Cracker Jack or Happy Meal mindset into the marketing and give the scanner a “free prize” and suddenly you have yourself an attention getter. Good looks made you fast friends and clever calls to action can lead to the influencing of people. 

QR Codes Of Note™ knows how it is done. As professionals, we are not industry infants like some. Our good looking QR codes contain tracking analytics, scan super quick and also change your scan destination without your having to reprint. As marketers, we have QR code campaign experience and can guide you in the direction of your goals using our stunning and effective QR codes. Our great graphics are usually enough but our provocative calls to action will bait your taget audience to greater measure. Sometimes people say: QR codes don’t sell anything. Well, that is not quite true. A QR code can turn any flat surface into your personal store and as a client, we can show you how. 

PayPal, an industry leader, and Mercedes Benz, P&G, Walmart, Starbucks, and many more big brands are still in the QR code arena and with good reason. Fortune 500 companies have huge research and development departments that determine the best ways in which to spend company marketing dollars. I see the evidence of their collective confidence in QR codes and I bet now you do, too. Aren't you glad you won't have to eat crow? Louis Vuitton QR code made by SET Japan

Comments always welcome.

Friday, July 26, 2013


How old do you have to be to be an old fool? 40? 50? 60?  I think you would agree that an “Old fool” is not a number, but rather, it is when a mature person shows a lack of good judgement.  Are you being an old fool when it comes to using social media like LinkedIn to generate leads?  Perhaps you feel more like an old dog not wanting to learn a new trick.

  1. Is age 40+
  2. Pays 100’s of dollars yearly and several hours a month to belong to a leads group for the privilege of networking with the same 20 people every week and refuses to learn how to use LinkedIn

  1. Is age 40+
  2. May belong to a leads group but uses LinkedIn for free to get business leads whenever he wants as opposed to when he gets lucky at his business group
Which are you? If you are still undecided, here are more facts:
  1. LinkedIn is the world’s largest database
  2. The average LinkedIn user is over 40
  3. The typical salary of a LinkedIn user is 100,000+
  4. LinkedIn is effective as a free tool or you can purchase more services if you like
  5. No one on LinkedIn cares about what you had for lunch so you don’t have to inform them with constant updates about your day

Not all social media tools are alike.  LinkedIn is NOT a time waster. Members of LinkedIn are there to do business.  If you match the time you invest in one networking group with the time you spend on LinkedIn, you will begin to question that networking group because the results of LinkedIn will keep you busy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Rhonda Smolarek

Rhonda Smolarek is a marketer and speaker who writes and trains old people (like herself) to use social media platforms to generate business leads. Register for her social media webinars at