QR or Quick Response codes have been in circulation for years, America and Japan were early adopters of the technology with the UK becoming the 7th largest consumer of QR Codes.
So what exactly are they?
QR codes are 2D matrix barcodes originally designed for the automotive industry back in the 90’s. They allow for decoding of content at high speed. Although they were originally designed to track automotive parts they now have many uses and are becoming the latest marketing trend as it allows marketers to break the barrier between digital and offline marketing. Something that has been a passion of mine since I started in this industry!
Should I use one?
Yes and no, I think that people clamber to be part of the latest trends as they can see a quick buck in it for them or to be up-to-date. People were doing the same with Twitter a few years ago with strategies like “Tweet it and they might come.” Now every B2B and B2C has a social strategy in place. To use QR in your marketing strategy you have to be prepared to really think about the experience you’re offering otherwise you won’t get the ROI you’re expecting.
What’s a good QR Experience?
What has captured my imagination is the QR User Experience. As a consumer you will have to be prepared to use QR and have this already on your radar. I say this because no phone that I know off has a native QR Reader. You have to download one of the countless apps that are available to use this technology.
You therefore have a captive audience who wants to interact with your material. They have the latest Smartphone in their hand and hopefully a good data or WIFI connection.
The QR code acts like a bookmark to the content you want to deliver, no typing or messing about, just scan and go! This content has to be thought through; there is nothing worse than scanning a QR code on a business card to just go through to their website. I would rather have all the contact details appear in my address book to save me the hassle. I also don’t want to wait an age for a video file to load which gobbles up my data allowance. I would like the opportunity to watch this content later by bookmarking a mobile webpage.
I also think there has to be an incentive to scan a code, exclusive content, vouchers and freebies are always a winner. A simple link to a Facebook profile is a waste of time unless there is something there for me upon my arrival!
It is my personal opinion that QR codes are here to stay and there’ll be people out there throwing them on everything just to have them. Get your QR strategy right and bridge the gap between offline and online marketing.
Member since: 5th December 2011
I'm the Managing director of Creativitea™ in Guildford. I am passionate about branding and how brands work across a multitude of channels from print to digital.