Have you seen those black and white squares cropping up in the corner of adverts, on magazine covers, the web and even on shopping receipts? Those little squares are called QR Codes and give access to predefined pieces of information that companies are now truly beginning to harness to increase sales, track advertising campaigns and gain consumer interest.
QR stands for Quick Response and the functionality of these little squares is definitely that. By allowing the viewer to quickly and easily scan this barcode-like object with a Smartphone or other device, information is read and then internally processed in many different ways.
Although first documented around the mid 1990’s, QR Codes only really became popular in England and the US when mobile Smartphone technology became accessible to the masses. Spanning from website links to contact numbers, discount codes to entire personal profiles it really is possible to do almost anything with a QR Code.
Working as the Junior Web Developer here at Creode it is not only my job, but also my passion to keep up with current technological trends and advances that will add that extra ‘wow’ factor to a client’s site or business. QR codes are a technology that has recently begun popping up all over the place in main stream media and I think can have a real positive impact on businesses marketing campaigns and products.
QR usage in advertising
But what’s in it for companies? By using a QR Code a company can allow their customer or user to go beyond the normal scope of their medium. It can interlink text-based content with the Internet, the ability to contact via SMS or phone, and more. Have an advert for an upcoming music festival? Why not put in QR Code selling tickets. Publishing a recipe? Why not put in a QR Code that pre-fills a shopping basket with all the ingredients you will need.
Generating and displaying a QR Code is not even an arduous task, with online services emerging that will take your content and generate a scannable QR Code instantly, with some services even offering more analytical features for businesses such as conversion tracking and usage monitoring that would be truly vital to getting an insight into the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Recently, Creode client Robe has incorporated QR codes in their upcoming Plasa Exhibition to allow passing customers to quickly get relevant information on products and services. By offering QR codes it allows potential customers to read this information, load web links, download contact details, etc without having to be confronted by a sales person. It has also been used in their upcoming iPhone application marketing campaign, as their target audience owns the product that is used to read and download the QR codes information.
The Creode QR Code
In my opinion, QR codes with undertake a vital role in marketing due to their time and space saving capabilities across the majority of media formats. They are simple to generate, implement and use and with 1 in 2 Americans predicted to own a Smartphone by Christmas of 2011 there will be an ever increasing number of people who can use them.
The cherry on the cake is that even though 50% of people may not be able to currently use them they are most regularly used as an extension of an existing advert or document, extending the advert rather than replacing it, so that the 50% who can’t access the QR code information can still read the main advert.
Are you using QR codes in a way that goes above and beyond the current mould? Leave us a comment below!