The Next Big Thing in Mobile Marketing
Have you seen one of these images before?
If you live in the United States there is a good chance you haven’t noticed these strange little pictures but that will soon change. This bit of technology is gaining adoption quickly and you need to understand the opportunity this little picture can offer you and your business.
Welcome to QR codes.
QR codes are a simply an image with encoded information. QR codes are similar to bar codes in the sense that they contain information that a specialized reader can extract. The big difference is that the QR reader is your mobile phone.
Here’s how it works. You take a picture of a QR code with your mobile phone and then you use a QR reader mobile app to retrieve the embedded information. This information can come in the form of URLs, plaintext, or phone numbers.
No more trying to remember an ad, a book, or where you placed that business card. If any of these items contained a QR code then you have all the information you need with a single picture. No paper to keep track of, nothing to remember!
QR codes are not new. They were developed in Japan in the mid 90s and they are marketing fixtures in many countries. The arrival of QR codes in America has been predicted for a couple of years but we are finally seeing them penetrate the U.S. market. Here are just a few examples
- The book “BrandDigital” has a QR code on the back cover that links directly to the books listing on Amazon.com (I’m partial to this idea because I often browse for books at a local retailer and then go home and order it via Amazon)
- Several Film Posters are using QR codes that link to video trailers
- Websites are now offering QR codes on discount coupons so there is nothing to print out for a visit to the store
- Print advertising is making fast use of these codes to offer links to more info, videos, and more.
QR codes are a perfect fit for everything from business cards to conference signs and museum exhibits. The possibilities are endless.
Tools to get started
- Create your own QR code at QRcode.kaywa.com
- If you’d like more options there is a good list of QR code generators at 2d-code.co.uk/qr-code-generators
- Get a QR reader for your smart phone
Do you have a great idea for how you can use QR codes? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.