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What Is A QR Code and How Do I Use It?

Posted by in Mobile Marketing

Last week I spoke about 4 technological advances that you should consider when you mobilise your business – all held in the palm of your hands. They were:

1) GPS 2) NFC 3) Bluetooth 4) Digital Camera

I want to focus on the very last one, the humble digital camera, and show you how it can be used effectively with a QR code.

A brief history on the QR (Quick Response) code – it was developed back in 1994 by Japanese company Denso-Wave to hold data that could be read quickly (hence the QR, smart aye?). The 2 dimensional graphic is traditionally black and white (however Microsoft have developed something similar in colour and named it a Tag). The term ‘QR code’ is sometimes interchanged with ‘2D code’ or ‘2D barcode’ as it resembles a traditional barcode.

Before I move on, I would like you to download and install an application to your phone (they should be free on your respective app services/markets) – Google Goggles if you have an iPhone or any Android based phone, QR Code Scanner Pro for BlackBerry users, or Kaywa code reader for any other mobile operating system. Once it is installed, run the application (follow any on screen instructions that may appear) and then hover your camera lens over this code:

What do you see on your mobile? What else have you learnt about QR codes? Did you know that creating a QR code is as simple as inputting the information you want turned into a code, and then hitting the generate button? Simple right? I thought so too…

If you are in the retail business and your consumers are everyday individuals like myself, then you probably know that many are spending more time online, and even more so on their mobile devices. You already have your physical store, but you need to also capture their attention while they are online! Search engine optimisation is one method to direct users to your business. Tick that box.

However, if the user is not searching online, but sees physical ads on the streets, on billboards, in magazines – and wants to find out more information? How do you bridge this gap from the instant they see the physical ad, to another information source? You guessed it – use a QR code.

The beauty of a QR code is that it delivers information to the reader/decoder on your phone, then with 1 or 2 simple on screen actions the user is delivered a wealth of information (as seen in the above example). What you need to do now is create a landing page that is optimised to convert the already interested individual (they must be interested to scan the code right?) into a satisfied customer. I’ll leave that up to you to think of how to do this, however I am always happy to provide some more ideas.

Now go have some fun with these (new) barcodes!

About

's role as a Campaign Manager is to coordinate multi channel online marketing campaigns and strategies to increase traffic, enquiries, sales or revenue, depending on what the campaign goals and objectives are. Kevin has a passion for mobile and technology which has helped him become a leader in mobile marketing strategies, tools and news.

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