Are QR Codes the Future of Marketing?
There are many people in the marketing arena that believe QR codes are the future of marketing. These codes are popping up everywhere in the media including billboards, magazines, product labels, and advertisements.
Quick Response codes, also known as QR codes or QRCs, are two-dimensional barcodes that hold alphanumeric characters that link to online content. Your customers scan the barcode with a smartphone camera and are given the information hidden in the code.
This one will take you to Google Maps on your mobile device with directions to my office. This way you don’t have to type my address when visiting me! Cool, huh?
Another example, you can embed a sales page URL in the code, and the customer will immediately be taken to that page on their smartphone browser.
A Little History
QR codes are not a new technology. In fact, QR codes have been on the scene since 1994 in Japan as a means to keep track of inventory in automobile factories. Since that time, QRCs have been the norm in Japan for advertisements on consumer products.
The technology behind QRCs has been slow to migrate to other countries because of a lack of knowledge and accessibility to this technology. As this technology gains popularity, the utilization of QRCs in marketing will continue to bridge the gap between print and electronic media. Google, a giant in the computer industry, advocates the use of QR codes for businesses. They recently added QR codes to their ‘Favorite Places’ service for their businesses. They issue QR codes to businesses that register and encourage the use of these codes.
With Google pushing QR codes on the public, it is reasonable to conclude that QR codes are indeed the future of marketing. They definitely have their place in the business world and provide an interactive method for consumers to get information on your business.
Hurdles to QR Code Adoption
The biggest hurdles towards the mainstream acceptance of QRCs are knowledge and accessibility. Much of the public doesn’t know what QRC codes are or how to use them. You need to educate your customers on what QRCs are and how to use them.
Additionally, not everyone has a smartphone to scan these barcodes. Most smartphones do not come with a stock barcode scanner for reading QR codes. This means your customers have to know what a QR code is and then download an application to read them.
As smartphones continue to replace traditional cell phones, you will find more consumers with the knowledge and capability to access your QR codes. Like any new technology there will be a period of time for consumers to adjust and get used to it. Once we can get past the hurdles involved with QRCs, these versatile barcodes are going to be splattered all over the consumer landscape.
Where can you get a QR Code?
There are some websites that will help you generate QR codes:
Our next post will give you some real word examples on how you can use QR Codes.
Have a great week and we’ll “see” you next week, OK? Until then, happy Surfing!
Your Internet Strategist