QR codes have been around for more than a decade, but it is only now that they are gaining popularity in the United States. And now, more than ever, marketers are looking at the extensive possibilities that QR codes offer.
QR stands for Quick Response, and a QR code is another version of barcodes, so to speak. It is composed of black and white squares, and it serves as a repository of data in large amounts. Youâ€™ve probably seen QR codes – think of them as barcodes on something, steroids maybe. They are just a little larger and look slightly different from barcodes.
Much like you need a barcode reader to decode the data contained in a barcode, you need a QR scanning application to your smartphone, or any other similar device with a camera. You then need to scan the QR code, and it is up to the application to give you the data that the code contains.
This is where QR codes can come in handy to marketers. An application that is fast becoming popular is embedding links in QR codes. Letâ€™s say you have a print ad where you want to include information about your web site or a promo you are currently running online. There is no way one can jump directly from a print ad to an online page, is there? With a QR code, a person simply has to scan the code, and he can be taken directly to the web site via his mobile device.
You may be thinking that it is can be a hassle to have to whip out your mobile phone to scan a QR code. Think about it, though – more and more we are integrating various functions into our mobile phones. When before they were only used for calls, now they are used to send text messages, browse the Internet, take pictures and videos, and even pay for purchases! The use of QR codes is simply another extension and may actually offer more convenience.
From Tag Heuer to the MINI Cooper to Macyâ€™s – big names are actually picking up on the use of QR codes for marketing! It will not be a surprise if, in the near future, every marketer out there will be employing QR codes. (Source: CNN)
Now hereâ€™s something to think about – if offline marketing campaigns benefit from the use of QR codes, how much more will Internet marketing campaigns benefit from these codes? Internet marketing companies like LSF Interactive make it a point to leverage all possible channels to launch successful marketing campaigns. The question – as with every other new potential marketing tool – is this: how can marketers efficiently make use of QR codes to add value to the customerâ€™s experience? This is the challenge that marketers face today, and I donâ€™t know about you, but Iâ€™m willing to bet that we will be seeing more of these barcodes on steroids soon.