QR codes (Quick Response codes) are growing rapidly in terms of adoption for marketing purposes.
QR codes use proprietary technology (a Toyota subsidiary) but they have elected not exercise copyright. Microsoft has created an equivalent product.
Just like barcodes contain information about a product, the QR code can contain information. But because the Barcodes are one dimensional and QR codes are two dimensional, the type and amount of information is vastly increased.
There are various types of equipment that can scan a QR code, but its growth is fuelled by a range of apps that can be downloaded to your smart phone.
Typically it can be printed on anything:
Marketing collateral, posters, dockets, products and even on bums.
QR Codes could link to:
- Installation instructions.
- Competition entry forms.
- Directions to your business.
- Coupons and special offers.
- Recommendations for complementary products and services.
- Free mp3 or video downloads.
- Customer feedback forms.
Why don’t you try it? You need to download a QR app to your smart phone.
I use Red Laser (on Android) which is actually a scanner that also compares prices on the fly. (Have a look at this video that shows how Red Laser works
– and it is a little scary for retailers!)
Once you have downloaded the app (most are free) you can scan the image below which is an example of a QR code.
It will take you to a website – nothing special – but you will get the idea.
You will note that it actually takes you to a mobile-optimised version of the website.
There is a new service that optimises your site for free (and there is a premium version available too).
If you pay attention to the domain name in the link, you will see which site is offering this service.
I mention this too, because there is really no point in using a QR code (requiring a smart phone to scan it), only to direct the customer to a clunky site that has not been optimised for mobiles.
To create your own QR code, you can use goo.gl (the url shortener) or simply search for QR code generators.
Ok, that should keep you busy for the next 30 minutes…
(And let me know what you think in the comments below.)
PS: I am thinking I might do a special feature on QR codes in the next issue of my newsletter. If you think it will be useful let me know (and cast your vote by subscribing in the meantime.