As digital technology evolves, people are able to carry around more and more of their life and their work in smaller and smaller packages. The advent of the smart phone and its wide range of capabilities, most notably, digital photography, have taken advertisers off in directions they would never have dreamed of even five years ago in their quest to keep their brands top-of-mind with today’s uber-mobile customer.
We all know that the majority of advertising and marketing being done these days is designed primarily to lead the customer to more detailed sources of information about their product or service. So it is into this highly fluid digital environment that the QR or Quick Response code is finding a comfortable fit.
The QR Code… A Bit of History
According to the source of all knowledge on the web, Wikipedia; “The QR Code, (short for Quick Response), is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones.”
The QR Code was originally created by Denso-Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota in 1994. In Japan and South Korea it quickly became one of the most popular types of two-dimensional bar codes.
In North America, the QR code has been slower to catch on, but in the past year or so, there has been a substantial upsurge in their usage.
The QR code is used by advertisers as a linking device, as it can be programmed to take the user, or picture taker, to pretty much anywhere the advertiser wants to take them.
A few examples of where QR codes in printed material can take you:
- Web site where you can find out more information
- Web based landing page or Facebook page where you can register for an event
- Billing form page where you can pay your bills on-line
- Video on YouTube.
- On-line email permission form
- Webinar, etc.
The QR code is all about helping you deepen your relationship with your customers by providing them with instant mobile access to the information you want them to have, without their need to be sitting at a computer.
QR codes are intriguing when spotted and give instant gratification – no need to remember the URL for later.
The Future of QR Codes
The future of the QR code is directly linked to the future of the plethora of mobile communication devices, like the hundreds of brands of smart phones, the iPod and iPad and the new generation of camera equipped readers and tablets that are flooding the market and gaining acceptance at record rates.
This is why all forms of print advertising, direct mail and packaging will soon be carrying QR codes, if they aren’t already.
At Rapport, we are starting to actively experiment with the use of QR codes in our marketing materials as well as some of the communications materials we’re creating for our clients.
It will be interesting to track these results, as we are, at the present time pretty much at ground zero, as far as the QR code phenomenon is concerned. We’ll keep you posted.