Perhaps you are wondering what QR codes are and what their usefulness is to you and your business. The main truth is they could be very valuable, but it was a good idea that never really got traction. In other places in the world they are a fabulous communication and marketing tool.
Is it a good idea to be prepared and put the QR code into use?
“QR” meaning “Quick Response” first used in Japan as a means of embedding information into a two dimensional bar code that could easily be scanned and decoded.
Its initial use was industrial and a means of keeping track of automotive parts inventory. Soon after that the ability to use the camera on the mobile phone as a scanner – propelled this little code into the marketing world with some pretty Diva ideas.
Now they are used to store business information, act as coupons, direct a person to anyplace on the internet, or can incite any particular action. Simply scanning one of these QR codes can result in a phone call or text to your business.
The QR code is heavily used in marketing products, services, and information, in Japan. And even though they aren’t exactly used by everyone over here it is still worth keeping an eye on it.
Some of the more common uses are:
Changing static advertising into responsive action. By putting a QR code on a billboard advertisement, the viewer just scans (from the ground) using their iPhone or Android and ‘boom’ they immediately have taken the action you wanted them to. They now have your coupon, or phone number, perhaps redirected to a video that tells them more about your business.
There are several Apps to choose from, both paid and free. The one I can recommend for the iPhone (as far as free goes) is the i-nigma.
By putting the code on your business card the recipient needs only to scan your card and now you are in their “contact” list with all your information. Even if they lose your card they will still have your info at the tap of the phone.
Realtors are using it more and more on their open-house brochures and their signs. A person driving by a house for sale doesn’t need to write the information down, just scan and auto-dial, or call later. Plus the specific web page with more information about the property is stored as well.
Some brick and mortar stores are putting their products online with the scanner. A person can scan their order, have it charged and then go to the store for pick-up or choose delivery. As well stores can implement the codes in-store for scanning and purchase without ever needing to go through the checkout.
They can be used for explanations and detailed information. Art exhibits, museums, tourist stops. Scan the code and the information pops up in your phone.
In short – I think QR codes are cool!