Quick Response Codes or QR Codes are the 2-dimensional barcodes popping up across the marketing landscape. With the boom of smartphone use, (iPhone, Blackberry, Android, etc.) I have marveled at the simplicity of the concept. Already widely used in Japan where they were first developed by automotive supplier, Denso Wave, QR Codes are beginning to click with marketers in the United States.
A current Brooks Brothers campaign features various apparel items in their magazine ads with a QR Code close by with the simple instruction “See It. Scan It. Buy It.” Scanning the QR Code will immediately take the reader to their website with that particular item ready to be added to your shopping cart or you can shop for other items. As the article explains, readers are already deeply engaged and the QR Code immediately connects them to online commerce or content.
You certainly don’t have to be marketing luxury items to benefit from QR Codes. If you have online content or commerce and your target market uses smartphones, they will benefit from the added engagement today. Prospects can be directed to your product or service for purchase instantly. The scan of a QR Code could take one to an educational video. After scanning, prospects can be directed to a monthly special running on your website. A QR Code on a business card could be used to direct the scanner to a website, personal profile, or other text. The possibilities are unlimited.
Most phones are currently shipping with QR Code Readers installed. For everyone else there are plenty of QR Code Reader apps available for free download. If you don’t see one in your apps store you will probably find it here.
I wrote a little more about QR Codes on www.utleybros.com. A linked CSI video gives one of the best explainations of QR Codes I have seen. There are many different QR Code Generators that will help you get started by creating your own QR Code. But if you would rather, we can create one for you simply by filling out the quick form at our site.
We are just now seeing the early adapters tinkering with the use of QR Codes in their marketing mixes. The increased level of interactivity QR Codes bring to printed marketing is going to ensure they will be around for a long time to come.