WHAT THE HECK IS A QR CODE?
Have you seen this image on the internet, posters, hang tags and other print materials? Have you wondered what that funky pixilated bar code image is? As the popularity builds you will see even more of it. It is called a QR code (Quick Response). Basically it is just like a bar code except that it is 2 dimensional which allows it to contain MUCH more information and can be read by mobile devices (like your iPhone, Android, HTC, etc). The information can be anything from contact information, calendar events, websites, a specific message…almost anything you can think of. It was developed in 1994 by a subsidiary of Toyota called Denso-wave. Japan standardized it in 2004 and uses it extensively for marketing, travel, tracking information, directing web traffic, etc. It is so popular in Japan you see if all over the place in billboards, posters, flyers, TV, etc.
US mobile devices that are data-enabled is on the rise. ComScore reported in their 2010 Digital year-end review that of all the mobile subscribers…nearly 47% were “connected media users”. This was a 7.6% increase from 2009. With this growth in the US mobile industry the popularity of QR codes has been growing for the last several years as well. As the information age continues to grow, QR codes are beginning to play a pivotal way of transporting users to information. Speed is the name of the game. The faster you can drive a consumer to your website to buy, the better. QR codes are the delivery methods by scanning it on a mobile device which takes you to a website for additional information. Instant gratification.
A great example is shopping. For years, marketers have had a challenge working with restricted space for their promotional material telling the consumer what their product is about and why to buy it. Now, they can still utilize all that space plus place a QR code on it that leads consumers to a website that gives an infinite amount of additional information. Because smartphones are data enabled, they have instantaneous access. Promoting a new concert in town? Utilize a QR code that drives consumers directly to a website to buy tickets right there on the spot. No more waiting till they get home to “google” it. Take out the extra steps and drive consumers directly and quickly.
To scan a QR code, you will need two things.
1) A data enabled smartphone
2) A QR code reader
Smartphones = iPhone, Android, HTC, Blackberry, etc – there are a ton of them out there. Find a QR reader in app store or online – depending how your device works. They are typically free and plentiful.
Interested in utilizing a QR code? Its FREE! Search for a QR code generator (like this one), put in your information and it spits out that funky 2D bar code for you to place wherever you wish. A quick search that I did found this link. Try it out, its pretty cool. Once you’ve tried, think about how you can utilize it in your business. Maybe you could drive clients/customers to that shiny new good-looking video! What uses are there for QR codes in your business?
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