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Five Ways You Can Get Started With QR Code Marketing. Quick response codes are getting a lot of positive buzz these days.

Five Ways You Can Get Started With QR Code Marketing

Can they bring some to your business? New ways to reach potential customers seem to emerge online every hour, so it's little wonder that some of these technology tools are ignored. One of the latest and most useful forms of marketing called Quick Response codes, or QR codes, is living up to its name, however, and getting just that -- a very quick response. A QR code is a specific two-dimensional code, readable by a dedicated QR bar code reader, camera phone, or smartphone. With their reliance on bar codes, QR codes do not represent a new technology by any means. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. At first, I didn’t pay much attention to QR codes. Related: A Quick Roundup of QR Code Tools So how does this translate into a marketing vehicle that can help you grow your business? After they've scanned in your bar code, you can send them your offer via this code.

Three Ways to Find an Edge in a Crowded Market. Whether you're a pioneer or a latecomer in a competitive industry, here are strategies to stay ahead of the pack.

Three Ways to Find an Edge in a Crowded Market

It may appear that certain industries are so packed with competition these days that it's hardly worth jumping in. But don't let a crowded market deter you. Savvy small-business owners are still gaining a competitive edge in industries where you wouldn't think one existed anymore. Consider these tips gleaned from the experience of successful entrepreneurs who found ways to make their businesses stand out in a crowd. 1. Yaniv Bensadon, founder and CEO of Photo courtesy of Roijoy Photography Take, which launched in 2005 and was among the first question-and-answer web sites.

"I figured the best person to help a person with a BlackBerry is another BlackBerry user," says founder and chief executive Yaniv Bensadon, 41, noting that it was an alternative to dealing with "a call center halfway around the world. " Related: Guy Kawasaki on How to Enchant Customers 2. 3. Why Tracking Marketing Metrics Can Pay Off. Use these tips to help generate a better response from your marketing and improve your return on investment.

Why Tracking Marketing Metrics Can Pay Off

We have all heard the old adage that half of all advertising dollars are wasted; the problem lies in figuring out which half. The numbers become even more interesting (or alarming) when one examines the typical response rates for conventional (and unconventional) media. Most direct marketers are happy to achieve a response rate of 1 percent to 2 percent -- or 2 percent to 4 percent if they include a telemarketing component. That means the recipients discard 98 percent to 99 percent of their materials without a second thought. The results for brand marketing or advertising bring even more frustration to business owners, mainly because consumers' perceptions about brands are so difficult to quantify.

Yet, every business, especially a startup, needs marketing to survive and thrive. First, focus on generating leads over building a brand. Related: Five Signs You Need a Marketing Makeover.