You may have noticed strange little black & white patterned boxes suddenly appearing in various locations, on posters and advertisements including the pages of magazines, and wondered what on earth they were.
They’re called QR Codes or Quick Response Codes, which are a form of barcode with a twist. The QR Code has been used by Japanese marketers and businesses for a number of years now and is the brainchild of Japanese company, Denso-Wave. Thanks to the amount of Smartphones being used today we are now starting to see the QR Code taking off here in Australia.
Have you ever tried to type a complex web link into your phone? You know the kind that has all sorts of odd characters and letters and numbers. It’s a major hassle and more often than not most people just give up.
However, if the web link was made into a QR Code you’d just point your smartphone at the code, press scan and the phone would do all the work for you.
What sort of information can be included in a QR Code?
- Contact details – Imagine being able to scan someones details straight into your contacts
- Web addresses – No need to type the address the QR Code takes you directly to the right page
- Text Messages – You can have the text message already prepared in the QR code
- Links to Video and Audio – Go straight to instructional videos, presentations, promos
- Coupons – Offer your customers specials that can only be accessed by QR Code
Mobile phones like the iPhone, Blackberry and other camera equipped phones all us free QR Code reader to scan the codes. We have some links at the bottom of this article of several different readers. They all read codes but offer some different functions.
Using QR Codes.
From a consumer point of view this is fantastic news, you no longer have to remember web details, just point your phone at the code and you have instant access to the business website, their blog, a video link, an info link, a special discount coupon page, or just to a page giving more details about the business.
For businesses it means being able to provide a higher level of service to their clients allowing more focused communication, even when they’re not with them. Business strategies will start to change very quickly as marketers and ad agencies realise the potential of the QR Code. It really is a win-win scenario.
The other really great benefit of using QR Codes for business is that if you do it correctly, you get data from the codes that give information on how many people respond, (roughly) where they come from and when the codes are scanned.
Giving businesses the ability to track response levels makes them extremely powerful in being able to create and deliver meaningful offers and information to your clients and customers.
How do I make a QR Code?
Again there are lots of resources on the web for making QR Codes. If you only need one or two codes then these will usually do the trick. There are also lots of specialised software applications for producing QR Codes in volume.
What to watch out for.
What is important and perhaps most important, is that wherever the code takes you it has to be optimised for viewing on a mobile phone. There is no point whatsoever in just sending someone to your web site if it can’t automatically adjust itself to the phones screen size or that it isn’t designed for the small amount of real estate on a mobile screen. Unfortunately we see it all the time, QR Codes sending people back to company websites. Completely Ineffective.
There are two massive potential problems
- Most websites have too much content to fit comfortably on a phone screen. So if the person is patient enough to wait, they then have to zoom in and scroll the screen somehow to read your information.
- The other problem is that it probably just takes too long to load the site. So they give up.
So make sure that if you are going to use QR Codes in your marketing efforts you do the work to make sure that where they end up is designed to work with a mobile phone.
Our team have been working with QR Codes for clients now for almost 2 years. You can benefit from their expertise by working with us on your next campaign.
We’ve developed a significant amount of experience in deployment and implementation of QR Codes as well as tracking usage and can really fast track your plans to utilise this amazing technology.
So get in touch with one of our QR Code Ninjas at firstname.lastname@example.org and they can help you include these powerful marketing tools into your products and services.
QR Code is registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED.