What in the world is that?
I’m sure that you have seen some of these around and have wondered what it is. It’s called a QR code and it might be the best thing in advertising since sliced bread.
QR is short for Quick Response, which is what you get when you use it. You can insert it into an ad, a direct mailer and even a sign in the middle of a park; and people get instant access to any information stored digitally over the internet.
This new technology might be or might not be a real change in advertising. It’s been around for about a year and people are impressed.
So what can it do?
QR codes make everything interactive. It can go on clothing, advertisements and banners. This gives consumers the opportunity to learn more via microsites, video and audio. This can make a magazine, newspaper ad or even a book in print interactive rather than passive.
In their new book, “The Now Revolution,” authors Jay Baer and Amber Naslund include 22 QR codes in the book that link the reader to video of a person discussed in the book. There are links to charts and graphs for download and more. By using the QR codes they gave readers information not in the book and gave readers an interactive experience.
People need to have a scanning app on their phones to be able to use the technology. One such app is ScanLife.
QR codes can be easily customized and can point consumers to mobile-friendly customized microsites. There the consumer can receive information that is highly relevant at a certain point in the purchase process. As the number of mobile devices bought this year is expected to exceed the number of computers bought, this brings the QR code more to the forefront.
Just as customers will benefit from being able to shop using the QR codes, the vendors will learn more information about their customers, much more than if they physically walked into the building. Vendors will learn how many scans were made, where they came from, even what type of phone scanned the code. If the vendor is a destination brand, it will be very valuable to understand where geo-locally people scanned the code they put into a national magazine. Localizing marketing will be a short step away. The vendor would also be able to tell how many people scanned the QR code and then went into a local market within so many days.
QR codes are the beginning of a new way of doing business for consumers and vendors alike. I see them becoming something new under the sun.
This article is loosely based on Tom Martin’s “QR Codes: Game Changer or Passing Fad?” in Advertising Age, published March 17, 2011 at website http://adage.com/print/149469.
- QR Codes, Fun and Fast Information. Educate Your Customers Before Your Competition Does (businessinsider.com)
- QR codes dead? (i-programmer.info)