Innovative digital marketing solutions, combining QR codes and the power of social media


by GrapevineQR
in Business
on Tue,
September 25, 2012

An Overview of GrapevineQR and
Digital Marketing Success

A discussion with Dale Rennie about GrapevineQR and digital marketing success.

by GrapevineQR
in Business
on Thu,
September 27, 2012

GrapevineQR and Marketing
Success with Paul Spreadbury

Paul Spreadbury offers his insight about marketing success in
general and the power of GrapevineQR.

by GrapevineQR
in Business
on Tue,
October 9, 2012

GrapevineQR and Marketing to Doctors

A conversation with Michael Shaw, columnist for Health News Digest, about GrapevineQR and innovative ways of marketing on behalf of doctors and other medical professionals.

by GrapevineQR
in Business
on Tue,
October 16, 2012

Supercharge your Marketing with GrapevineQR by Paul Spreadbury

Paul Spreadbury discusses about How Grapevine transforms the way businesses and consumers use QR marketing codes.

by GrapevineQR
in Business
on Wed,
October 24, 2012

GrapevineQR, transforming the use of QR codes into successful campaigns

Dale Rennie CEO of OMS ASIA talks about His latest endeavor, GrapevineQR, as a dynamic solution which transforms the use of QR codes into successful campaigns – for clients in a variety of industries – on Facebook and elsewhere.


What is a QR Code?



You probably have seen a lot of these square images around (as seen on the bus). In short, this is a QR code. QR stands for Quick Response. It is a two dimensional bar code comprising of square dots around a square grid.
QR Codes can be used anywhere.
The QR code was original designed in 1994 by Toyota to keep track of their manufacturing process. However, because of its great storage capacity, the QR code is found to be used outside of this medium. All you need is a camera with software that you can download from your "App Store" to read any of these codes.
There are many software applications out there that allow anyone to create a QR code. However, malicious QR codes combined with a permissive reader can put a computer's contents and user's privacy at risk. This practice is known as "attagging". They are easily created and can be affixed over legitimate QR codes. Many online companies that offer the opportunity to create a QR code for free use this type of process so that anyone scanning the code will be taken to a number of other sites outside of the one they were intending to scan for. On a smartphone, the reader's permissions may allow use of the camera, full Internet access, read/write contact data, GPS, read browser history, read/write local storage, and global system changes.
While it sounds very scary, there are systems in place to ensure that people are not taken advantage. Many companies that use QR codes ensure that they do exactly what they were created for.
GrapevineQR is a company that focuses on creating QR codes for businesses wanting to promote a product or service. Their QR codes are genuine and contain no malicious viruses. They allow people who scan them to receive vouchers/coupons as well as direct them to a Facebook page of the business that using their QR codes for promotion.
Adrenaline Gym using QR codes to advertise specials
large image
If you happen to scan in a code that takes you to a range of different sites it is a good idea to notify the company (whom the QR code is for) and let them know. Sometimes businesses do not know that the QR code they used is faulty.

The missing link in QR code and Facebook marketing

By Dale Rennie

Mobile marketing and QR codes are part of an established tradition of promotion for a variety of industries. However, that strategy often overlooks the added importance of social media, where Facebook plays an increasingly vital role in establishing and expanding brand identity, attracting new customers and popularizing specific offers, discounts or exclusive incentives.


Without a means of bridging this divide between QR codes and social media, marketers will not reach their true target audience. More than 1 billion consumers worldwide now use Facebook via their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to receive and spread information, “Like” their favorite products and highlight featured brands.
The opportunity, for mobile marketers, rests with acknowledging this fact – that social media must be part of any QR campaign – so both marketers and consumers can thrive. The solution already exists, but first we all need to rethink the way we position and use QR codes.
Like it or not
By their very existence, QR codes are the perfect resource for busy consumers who want to quickly take advantage of a limited promotion or a special offer.
And yet, QR codes are digital resources trapped in an analog world, meaning when companies insert QR codes into newspapers, magazines, flyers, pamphlets and other forms of old media, they automatically limit their ability to create a viral marketing phenomenon.
Instead, the same hit-or-miss results leave business owners asking a predictable question: Why am I unable to be successful?
The answer to that question rests with giving consumers the chance to scan a QR code, showcase that information on Facebook and enable fellow friends to “Like” the same thing, thus generating an organic movement, where each “Like” acts as a personal endorsement for a particular business, promotion or sale.
Consumers can do this with speed and convenience, right from their mobile devices, and make a single QR code into a symbol for a massive shift – for the better – involving marketing, advertising and communications.
Friendly overture
This respect for the power of Facebook is the proverbial missing link in most QR marketing efforts.
Too often business owners treat these entities as two separate domains, where the former has nothing to do with the latter.
The facts belie this false division between these groups, which is why we have a duty to change the very purpose of mobile marketing.
We need to think of ways to affordably and reliably make viral marketing a reality, not a freak occurrence or some inexplicable aberration.
Marketers who appreciate this new landscape will thrive because they give consumers greater influence over the success of a QR code. They empower individuals to be the force responsible for a company’s visibility online, lending a large measure of authenticity to businesses that may not reach the public with conventional marketing tactics.
THEREIN IS THE final truth: mobile marketing relies on innovative applications to inaugurate a new era of online conversation and promotion.
This unity between QR codes and social media is a necessity. The advantages are clear, and the opportunity is undeniable.
We need to seize the moment, for the betterment of consumers and marketers alike. That approach can – and should be – the next chapter in the way that mobile marketers use QR codes and Facebook.


Watching the Affordable Care Act Unfold (Or Maybe Unravel)

By Michael D. Shaw, Contributing Columnist -


You might remember the oft-repeated promise made by Obama in 2008, whereby health insurance premiums for American families would be cut by $2500, and this would occur within his first term.   Presumably, he based this contention on a memo written for his campaign in May, 2007 by three well-regarded experts from Harvard:  David Blumenthal, David Cutler, and Jeffrey Liebman.
As they stated:
"Combining all of these effects--from improved health IT, better disease management, reduced insurance overhead, reinsurance, and reduced uncompensated care -under our ‘best-guess' assumptions, we estimate that businesses will save $140 billion annually in insurance premiums.  The typical family will save $2500 per year."
In reality, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone whose premiums have decreased.  Rather, according to the latest annual Kaiser Family Foundation employee health benefits survey, premiums for employer-provided family coverage rose $3065-a 24% increase from 2008 to 2012.  Looking only at the period after ACA became law, in 2011, premiums spiked 9.5%, and climbed another 4.5% in 2012.
Amazingly, the Harvard dons fell for the ridiculous notion that deploying more health IT would be some sort of transformative and revolutionary process; as if putting medical records on computer instead of in file folders would somehow save billions of dollars all by itself.  Quoting again from the memo...
"Greater use of information technology is one key to a more efficient health care system, along with incentives to use that technology wisely.  The RAND Corporation conservatively estimated that significant investment in health IT could save $77 billion per year."
The Harvard dons relied heavily on an article published in the September/October 2005 issue of Health Affairs entitled "Promoting Health Information Technology:  Is There A Case For More-Aggressive Government Action?"  This article was one of seven described as "related documents" in the now infamous RAND report I discussed in a recent column.  I say "infamous" since the report is now being disavowed by RAND itself, and was paid for by companies that stood to-and did-make billions off the health IT push.
Notably, the same author names (including RAND stalwarts James Bigelow, Anthony Bower, and Roger Taylor) keep appearing in these documents, as these supposedly independent researchers cite themselves and each other.  I don't think that's what we mean by "peer review."
Our Harvard Veritas boys save the best for last, as they conclude their memo with this gem:
"Thus, we believe that the Federal financing for the Obama health plan will be available using already-identified sources of revenue and without new taxes on the overwhelming majority of U.S. taxpayers."
Have you checked your pay stub recently?  Moreover, Americans for Tax Reform lists the five worst of the 20 tax increases mandated by the ACA, with their estimates of the impact.  Before you point out that ATR's estimates could be as flawed as RAND's, bear in mind that even if they are wildly inaccurate, it is undeniable that there will be tax increases-contrary to the false promises of ACA's cheerleaders.
ACA Medical Device Tax-$20 billion
ACA "Special Needs Kids Tax"-$13 billion
ACA Surtax on Investment Income-$123 billion
ACA "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deductions-$15.2 billion
ACA Medicare Payroll Tax Hike-$86.8 billion
Slated for January 1, 2014 is the extension of Medicaid from enrollees making up to 100 percent of the poverty line-more than $11,000 for a single person-to those making 133 percent, or about $15,000.  However this plays out, there will be an increased demand for primary care physicians.  Too bad that the Feds have been doing all they can to discourage anyone from entering those specialties-for decades.
Lamentably, this is because the AMA's Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC)-under exclusive contract to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-has been vastly underrating cognitive medicine (as in primary care), and scandalously building up procedural medicine.  As I endlessly remind people, even though CMS is technically only involved with Medicare and Medicaid, it still greatly influences reimbursements for all private insurance at all levels of health care.
There is no doubt that RUC stinks to high heaven, and a few years ago, a group of Augusta, GA physicians sued to change things.  Last month, a federal appeals court ruled against them.  That court, and the original district court, rejected the docs mostly on procedural grounds, thus cravenly avoiding the real matter at hand.  I can't say that I was surprised.  Indeed, the entire federal court system has been AWOL on health care since 1965.
Health care providers, regardless of specialty, are challenged to increase revenues.  Canny marketeer Dale Rennie, CEO of OMS Asia, weighs in...
"Enhancing productivity and streamlining the marketing process is essential for the health care industry. Conventional tactics like expensive TV commercials or radio spots, which seek to achieve nothing more than ‘awareness,' do little to reduce costs or make inroads with the very people most in need of care: patients."
"A far better way for insurers and health care organizations to reach the public is through a combination of  QR marketing codes and social media.  By enhancing the power of a Facebook ‘Like,' which would showcase a friend or colleague's interest in a specific issue relating to a doctor or health-related cause, a viral campaign can be created-without the expense or hit-or-miss tactics that define conventional forms of marketing."
Dale's right, of course.  ACA has certainly killed off anything conventional.  As California governor Jerry Brown said frequently during the 1970s:  "Lower your expectations."
Michael D. Shaw
Exec VP
Interscan Corporation

Husni Kuffash, Consultant on QR Codes & Technology, gives an overview of one of the latest communications channels - or codes.

Increasing Your Online Presence in Real Estate by Dale Rennie

With the new year approaching, real estate professionals have a number of resolutions -- chief among them, increasing their visibility online, collecting Facebook "Likes" for their work, trying to figure out other ways to exploit this medium and making better use QR marketing codes. Combining these forces may be the best way - and the most economical means - of increasing sales, developing word-of-mouth marketing and transforming the real estate profession as a whole.

Right now, agents and brokers should make an additional resolution: to move beyond traditional print advertising, radio spots and TV commercials, online promotion and mobile communications. For, without a comprehensive marketing strategy, one that transforms the way people use QR codes, 2013 will be no different than 2012. The new year demands a solution that does substantially more than referring the 'scanner' of a real estate QR code to a website.

We predict QR codes will be used to instantly gather names and email addresses of every person who scans a specific code, while add Facebook 'Likes' - and this part is particularly significant, the proverbial Big One - enabling your clients yo help promote you and your properties on Facebook via a 'Share'.

This collection of information can be part of a secure, proprietary database; in turn, brokers and agents can leverage this content, where they automatically generate "Likes" on their companies' Facebook pages. This phenomenon is essential to credibility within the world of social media, which, thanks to a patent-pending application called GrapevineQR ViralTM, even delivers client-driven posts on a real estate agent's Facebook wall, which that agent automatically shares with all of his or her Facebook friends.

Friends of that client can also scan the GrapevineQRTM code, beginning the process all over again. That one scan - a fast and simple action - can be the foundation of a viral, online marketing campaign. Put another way, this description is a summons to make 2013 a year of success for residential and commercial brokers alike, a chance to reinvigorate the real estate industry as a whole.

Think of this pledge as a smart and affordable way to generate increased exposure, a blueprint to start 2013 with a new approach to QR marketing. A quick review of the possibilities - and there are many - confirms that a potential buyer may scan a broker's GrapevineQRTM code on a diverse array of venues such as: online ads, websites, print media, message boards (for properties for sale or lease), enabling GrapevineQRTM to gather and secure that prospective client's information for other promotional efforts.

The subsequent series of events, which follow from the above scenario, are the basis for a viral marketing phenomenon. And, in an economy still beset by challenges and countless foreclosures, every real estate professional needs a chance to have the best sales-generating resource for the collection - and effective marketing - of leads. That statement is true for any environment, but has added urgency for 2013 and the fiscal problems that confront the United States as a whole.

Coming back to ways GrapevinQRTM can improve this situation, think of how this patent-pending QR technology can - and is - more practical than all of the hit-or-miss tactics from 2012. For example: a person may see a particular offer about a complimentary home inspection or appraisal, or a vendor offering a special discount, and, upon scanning the QR code, this potential client provides his or her email address and name. That individual then receives a request to 'Like' the Facebook page from the broker who ran the promotion.

Coming back to ways GrapevinQRTM can improve this situation, think of how this patent-pending QR technology can - and is - more practical than all of the hit-or-miss tactics from 2012. For example: a person may see a particular offer about a complimentary home inspection or appraisal, or a vendor offering a special discount, and, upon scanning the QR code, this potential client provides his or her email address and name. That individual then receives a request to 'Like' the Facebook page from the broker who ran the promotion.

All of these factors are an intelligent way to leverage the power of Facebook 'Likes,' which act as personal endorsements and attract attention from the people who most respect your opinion. For, among friends, family and close colleagues - among the individuals who follow your activity on Facebook - a 'Like' is an invitation to learn more about a featured business, product or service. That recommendation has significant value, which is a testament to a real estate professional's credibility or influence. And remember, every ounce of recognition matters - and will matter - in 2013.

These suggestions are an intelligent and quantifiable way to more successfully use QR codes, which have the power to help real estate agents and brokers nationwide. This proposal for 2013 is a chance to start the year with renewed purpose, confidence and worthwhile material. That formula is bright sign for professionals who want to transcend conventional - and expensive - marketing tactics for something new, something better. Now these individuals have cause for celebration. Let us make 2013 a year of great accomplishment.

Would You Like Your Listings To Go 'Viral' on The Web?
Publication:  Realty Times

Of all the business-related questions confronting real estate agents and brokers, one takes precedence overt everything else: How would you, as an agent or broker, like to build a large email database, collect Facebook "Likes" for your website and have your potential clients spread the word about properties you have for sale?


For real estate professionals, marketing is an essential component of reaching current and prospective clients. This task may encompass a variety of tactics - from traditional print advertising to radio spots and TV commercials to online promotion and mobile communications - but one thing is clear: without an effective tool, something that creates opportunities and motivates people to act, marketing can be a failed enterprise. Nowhere is this point more relevant than in the use of Quick Response (QR) codes, which contain important information about existing offers and newly launched incentives.  And, unlike traditional QR codes (which are more reactive, and thus fail to collect valuable customer data), there is a new way to instantly gather names and email addresses of every person who scans a specific code.


That material can then go into an exclusive, secure database; brokers and agents can leverage this information, where they automatically generate "Likes" on their companies' Facebook pages, thus creating more social credibility. Most importantly, an application like GrapevineQRä system delivers client-driven posts on a real estate agent's Facebook wall, which that agent automatically shares with all of his or Facebook friends. Any of that client's friends can then scan the GrapevineQRä code again, and the process begins anew. One scan can turn into a viral online campaign.


This scenario, which is a mere snapshot of the broader possibilities of intelligent QR marketing, enables real estate brokers to - finally - enter into a new realm of business exposure. For example: a potential buyer may scan a broker's GrapevineQRä code on virtually any media (venues include: online advertising, websites, print media, message boards about available properties for sale or lease), which allows GrapevineQRä to automatically collect and secure (in a data locker) that potential customer's information for future marketing campaigns.


These actions result in increased exposure through social media, followed by more people seeing the Like (for the broker) on Facebook, followed by more potential clients scanning the QR code, climaxing with a viral marketing phenomenon. All of which means that a simple scan can grow exponentially: soon enough, brokers have their own sales-generating resource for the collection - and targeted marketing - of leads.


The latest patent-pending QR technology even goes one step further. In this situation, an individual may see a specific offer ("A free house value appraisal"), and, after scanning the QR code from a newspaper ad or elsewhere, the client provides his or her email address and name. The application then requests the person who has scanned the code to 'Like' the relevant Facebook page concerning the broker from the advertised promotion. The user can then 'Share' the information on his or her Facebook page about this offer. The last step is the key for a viral promotion: all of that person's friends on Facebook can also see and accept the offer, and so on and so forth. Thus begins a truly viral campaign, which collects data and automatically promotes a real estate firm or broker.  


Think of this circumstance as a more convenient - and successful - brand of promotion. In fact, these tactics update the most respected forms of marketing (personal endorsements) for the twenty-first century, where Likes - the social media equivalent of a recommendation - result in attention from those who take your opinion most seriously: your friends and family. In the real estate industry, those recommendations act like a form of word of mouth marketing; each Like is a testament to the credibility, influence and intelligence of an individual broker or agent. These factors are critical in an economy where the housing market, optimistic forecasts to the contrary, continues to struggle; and where brokers vie for the attention of potential buyers and sellers.


Without a way to capture that audience - without the proper tactics to motivate people through social media - prospective leads become nothing more than a lost assemblage of names and numbers: a broker becomes a mere observer of patterns and events; he never establishes an interactive relationship between himself and the clients he can (and should) serve.  


These points can change for the better with the intelligent use of QR codes, which can be a catalyst for the recognition many real estate professionals deserve. This embrace of new technology is both sound and reliable. Meaning: the combination of a proven system, backed by a system that delivers results and makes marketing more scientific, is the ideal solution for all industries. With this approach, we can make QR codes the principal tool in a new age of promotion and increased business. Let us move forward with renewed purpose, so successful marketing is no longer a mystery.

QR Codes In Health Care
By Michael D. Shaw, Contributing Columnist -
Nov 11, 2012 - 10:17:17 AM

( - Familiar to most smart phone users, the QR Code (short for Quick Response Code) has been around since 1994. Originally developed for the automotive industry, QR Codes are a significant improvement over the one-dimensional bar codes most commonly used for inventory control and retail point-of-purchase price scanning.

At present, there are six different versions of QR codes. The smallest, Version 1, can contain 25 alphanumeric characters. The largest, Version 40, can contain 4096 alphanumeric characters. Compare this to the 13 numeric digit limitation of the standard UPC one-dimensional bar codes.

Around three years ago, QR codes began to appear in all sorts of print media, and typically contained links to the advertiser's website. With a variety of free QR code reader apps available for camera-equipped smart phones, the technology was widely accepted within a short time. Deployed in this manner, QR Codes became the interface between print and digital media.

The notion of "reading" an analog or fixed object would soon be expanded. Apps such as Google Goggles enable a sort of visual search, whereby sundry items—including artwork, books, business card contact information, and landmarks—can be scanned, and relevant information obtained. Certainly, QR Codes have numerous applications in health care. Last year, journo and self-described proud techno-geek Sara Jackson detailed a few of them inFierceMobileHealthcare's weekly newsletter...

  •     Hospital facility tours and maps
  •     Patient education
  •     Patient health/allergy warnings for caregivers
  •     Patient testimonials. Get immediate feedback.
  •     Setting appointments, via codes in newspapers, magazines, and postcard ads

Not surprisingly, a major use of QR codes is marketing. I recently got some insight on this from Dale Rennie, founder and CEO of OMS Asia—an integrated digital marketing firm. The company has recently introduced GrapevineQR Viral™, which they refer to as "The Cure for the Common Code." []

As Dale explained:

    The Grapevine QR Viral code is placed on any promotional material produced by the medical facility, such as "Scan here to receive a 20% discount on your annual physical." With a single scan of the code from a prospective patient who provides their name and email address, this tool generates a Facebook "Like," which is posted on that person's Facebook Wall. And, since the average Facebook account contains 229 friends, according to a Pew Research Group Study, there is considerable opportunity for a single scan to become a viral phenomenon.

    At the same time, the patient's contact information is added to a secure database set up on our server, for further marketing purposes. This can all be accomplished with our easy-to-use dashboard. We even provide two free campaigns to get you started. It's simple and fun.

Ken Honeywell, partner/creative director of Indianapolis-based Well Done Marketing recommends these uses (among others) of QR codes in health care marketing:

    Post-procedure instructions—A QR code can link patients with online documents that provide instructions on how to care for themselves after a procedure, physical therapy videos, and more.

    Physician-to-physician communications—There’s no reason to use QR codes only for patient communications: docs use smart phones, too. You can use QR codes to provide contact information for referrals, show videos of procedures, and profile your practice.

As with all marketing tools, though, it is important to avoid the pitfalls. A few months ago, veteran health care reporter and editor Gienna Shaw (no relation) posted an article entitled "QR code fails: How marketers are ruining potential patient engagement tool."

For starters, she refers to a QR code on a subway station billboard, posted on the wall across from the tracks, behind the third rail. And then there are numerous cases of a QR Code which links to a website not at all optimized for mobile use. Her most obvious good advice? "Don't put a QR code on a poster about any medical condition unless you personally would be willing to stand up in a room full of strangers and shout that you'd like more information about it."

Let your imagination wander...

Michael D. Shaw
Exec VP
Interscan Corporation

 New QR code technology links to media

 Date: 19/4/2013
 Publication: The West Australian Newspaper

The way small to medium-sized businesses offer discounts to their customers is set for a shake-up thanks to new multi-transactional QR Code technology, developed in Perth, which circumvents the need for services like Groupon and Scoopon.

GrapevineQR is a QR Code which can be directly generated by a business or its marketing agency for use in direct, offline or online advertising, which is linked directly to social media. When a customer scans a code to accept a discount they are asked to “Like” the offer on Facebook as part of the transaction. Than then simultaneously sends a redeemable voucher to their email address and pushes an ad for that same discounts to all their Facebook friends.

The technology was developed by West Leederville-based Grapevine Australia and director Marty Edwards said it offered advantages to everyone in the transaction chain. He said while the consumers received their special offer, for the price of one discount not only could the business’s ad potentially be seen by hundreds or even thousands of possible customers, but it also created a database of their Facebook and email information.

Mr. Edwards said the codes were automatically generated after completing a form on the GrapevineQR website and were provided as an electronic file to use on marketing material. The codes can be read by any QR reader.

GrapevineQR recently soft launched in Australia and will roll-out globally this year. It is already being used by Rottnest Express and restaurant chain Hippo Creek.

Mr. Edwards said there had been a lot of interest from the hospitality industry as it gave them flexibility in the way they offer discounts.

Australia reportedly has more than 11.5 million monthly Facebook users. US-based research released this year suggests 58 per cent of smartphone users who view mobile ads find messages with coupons or special offers useful.