QR codes are much like the traditional bar codes you see on the sides of grocery shopping items, but they can contain much more information, in fact you can store up to 4296 alphanumeric characters. A user typically downloads and installs a QR scanner on their smartphone and then uses it, to scan these codes to access a tremendous amount of information. This is an highly effective marketing tactic especially if your target audience are smartphone users.
The two dimensional makeup of QR codes means that they have a large surface area, which allows them to hold thousands of characters, this can include website URLs, text or other information such as videos, photographs, graphics and more. QR codes can generate text messages and telephone calls also.
QR codes have been in use for over twenty years, in fact they were created way back in 1994 when they were used to track automobiles during manufacturing. Increasing in popularity in recent years with the explosion of camera equipped smartphones, the codes are now being used to link real world objects with all sorts of online data and information. QR codes can be tailored to your audience for quickly and easily linking content to your smartphone. Other simple uses include magazine advertisements, vehicle wraps and even more complex QR codes that are much like a digital business card.
A few years ago QR codes were supposed to become the must have marketing tool, they were supposed to become more and more common place in the coming years, given the ever increasing dependency on mobile technology and peoples lack of enthusiasm over actually typing URLs or data.
Think about it for a minute, people can quickly scan a QR code with their smart phone and have instant access to the information they want and that you are sharing. Surely this is a win, win for everyone, well that’s what everyone thought a few years ago however the uptake has failed to meet expectations.
The problem however is that QR codes have been abused by marketeers and people have been slow to scan everything they see. I believe this comes down to marketeers loading sales type information into QR codes for example a website URL which is simply a sales brochure. Ask yourself this, would you scan and view a website simply to be sold, chances are you would not because people don’t want to be sold to constantly they want to be engaged, educated and then they will make their own informed decisions on purchases.
I believe QR Codes will make a massive comeback, they are just so useful if used correctly… consider these uses of QR codes. Imagine hiring a piece of equipment and finding a QR code on the side, scanning the code takes you to a video showing you how to use the piece of equipment you have hired. Wouldn’t that be useful, of course it would and this same application could be replicated in numerous companies? Offline stores selling high end fashion could include QR codes showing people wearing the clothing with various accessories, care instructions, etc.
QR codes can now also be dynamic in that the information contained can be updated, even if they have been printed… interesting isn’t it.
I trust that I have helped explained what QR codes are, and have given you a few ideas on how to successfully use QR codes in your own business. If you are curious how a QR code works, why not try building one of your own with this free QR code generator, http://www.qr-code-generator.com