With smart phone technology now becoming virtually ubiquitous we’ve been seeing quite a substantial push for QR (Quick Response) codes of late. These 2D barcodes have been created and popularized in the East, especially Japan and Korea, but have been rather slow to adopt to western countries. Now however, there seems to be a stronger advocacy for its use, and businesses are moving toward incorporating this “new” technology on a more frequent basis.
How does it work?
If you have a smart phone, simply search your app store for a QR code reader, start the application and aim your phone’s camera at the code. The application will decode the pattern and return the embedded results.
FM Media, a Rocketseed reseller, has provided an example where they smartly used a QR code to embed the Gautrain timetable into their everyday email marketing headers using the Rocketseed software. In this instance, scanning the code to your mobile phone will activate the Gautrain timetable on a mobile site, ideal to bookmark and recall while on the move.
What is important to note, especially for marketers, is to understand the role of QR code technology, and how to apply it. It should be noted that QR codes are not a display marketing tool in its own, but rather acts like a bridge to connect one medium with another, typically from print, outdoor and other traditional marketing media, to the mobile web.
This does not imply that QR codes cannot be used on digital formats, but marketers need to be attentive to the objective of their campaigns. For example, simply positioning a QR code in your email branding or signature that links to your website is somewhat futile since, for the user to access the QR code, means they’re already online. Transferring the medium from online to mobile, while new and interesting perhaps, serves little to no purpose.
Where would it work:
The opportunities for QR codes that exist in traditional marketing media (print, outdoor, t-shirts, business cards, wine bottles etc.) is vast. Only the creative imagination could curb innovative campaigns.
On the digital front, consider using QR codes to add value to the end user:
1. Like FM Media, provide a QR code that can help the end user while they’re on the move: I.e.: links to a train’s timetable.
2. Link to your mobile application download page: Many people search for apps online because of the larger screen real estate. When they find the app, a QR code can be used to access the download link directly on their phone.
3. Provide your contact details in your email signature: Embed your vCard in a QR code and your email recipients have a simple way to add your contact details to their mobile phones.
4. Get the phone ringing: QR codes can also make a phone call. (Oh, imagine the mischief!) If you want to get the phones ringing–at your business or at campaign headquarters – you can create a code that will dial a predetermined number. Likewise, QR codes can generate SMS text messages.
Can you think of any other uses for QR codes? Share them with fellow resellers in the comments section.