Friday, January 27 2012
QR code means Quick Response (QR) code. Their main purpose? To take people from the physical (offline) world to the online world... fast.
Although initially used to track parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR codes are now (as of 2012) used over a much wider range of applications, including commercial tracking, entertainment and transport ticketing, product/loyalty marketing (examples: mobile couponing where a company's discounted and percent discount can be captured using a QR code decoder which is a mobile app, or storing a company's information such as address and related information alongside its alpha-numeric text data as can be seen in Yellow Pages directory), band in-store product labelling.
At this stage in the QR game? Curiosity baby!
Folks are fascinated by the notion that they can use their smartphones to scan these codes and then "something" happens. They are curious what that "something" is - so they scan it! Could be a website they land at, a contest, a giveaway, a landing page, a promo of some kind, the list goes on.
How many times have you booked a flight, left for the airport (usually late?) and thought... "Oh my gosh! Do I have my ticket?"
Have you been to an event lately? Any public event. An air show? A car show? Seen someone wearing a T-Shirt that just has the words "Scan Me" and a QR Code on it? Who doesn't want to scan that?!
So what's the problem?
Unfortunately, lot's of folks aren't using them properly. For instance; have you visited a website that had a QR Code on it, taken out your smartphone to scan it only to wind up at the same website you are already on? Poor use of a really great tool.
Instead of using a QR Code to send the viewer to your website, consider sending them to a specific landing page catered to the marketing material they found the code on to begin with. A great example of this comes from BestBuy. The QR Codes on the shelf stickers beneath the printer you are looking at, take you to THAT specific model printer, rather than just the manufacturer's main website, where you can read reviews and get a full feature list to view.
QR Codes can be useful, but only when used properly. And if you’re going to create QR Codes, it’s best to create a vector version for maximum flexibility.