So are you using QR codes in your business or just as a consumer? A few months ago, when I came across the term “QR codes”, I didn’t have much of a clue. But ever since I started paying attention to it, I see them everywhere — from manuals to merchandise.
What is a QR code?
A QR code, an abbreviation for Quick Response Code, is similar to a barcode where it can be read by a scanning software but it’s much more versatile and powerful in its usage and works on any smartphone with free downloadable apps such as RedLaser, QR Reader etc. QR codes act as a bridge that connects the real world to the digital space, especially in the mobile arena. Imagine you are showcasing your product at an event and want to reach out, attract and engage potential customers. You can print a QR code on a brochure for the event, that when scanned will have information embedded with a chance to win an iPad or some other special offer if they register at your booth. You can then provide them with a promotional product at the booth that has a QR code containing company or product and contact information embedded within it, that when scanned opens up their email client and allows them to send the company or product information to themselves or someone else. This is just one example.
Think about it…how about being able to embed QR code in a wireless test system or in the components within the test system to get more information on the product or components of the product? It’s an inexpensive and dynamic way of literally encompassing a product or company within a link.
Why use QR codes?
First off, it’s completely paperless and therefore green and with mobile phones being ubiquitous, QR codes can provide instant access to the customer’s information needs. It’s an effective and inexpensive way to create brand awareness, provide information, etc. with a push of a button. The QR code technology complements the traditional route to building brand awareness, such as advertising using brochures and banners, by allowing you to embed the QR code that has more information on the product or company within the traditional advertising media. With ease of accessibility to consumers, it promotes increased product sales and costs only a fraction of what it would using traditional methods, thereby decreasing advertising costs. You can create traffic to your website that can be tracked for targeted marketing. It acts as a potential means of social media where you can link to the product review page and solicit feedback on the product or any kind of customer experience with the company.
In essence, QR codes can provide a high ROI on your marketing investments allowing you to link multiple channels and track activities with very little investment on resources. It replaces the vanity URL with a one click link to whatever action you want to provide to your customer.
QR Code Gotchas?
Implementing QR codes is so inexpensive that it can be easy to go overboard with it. Remember, you are directing your audience to information on a mobile device. You have to make sure that the website or whatever information is being presented is mobile-friendly before you publicize your QR codes. If you place the QR code in a useless location, for example, below a heavy item at a store that’s hard to lift, or on a billboard by the highway, it doesn’t serve any purpose. Like any technology, it’s important that it be used intelligently. Wireless users are usually very sophisticated. If it appears you don’t “get it” when you use something like QR codes, you could end up damaging your brand and offset any good your QR code-based campaign could have done.
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