|Written by Joe Wozny|
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Why and how to use QR codes PLUS how to integrate them with your world wide web, particularly the Internet and Social Media, is the subject of this blog.
QR codes were created for use in the automotive industry in Japan.. Originally created by a Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. In North America, QR codes are seen on books (example: SuperFreakonomics, 2009), business cards and on retail packaging (example: Dole pineapple 2011). My personal favourite, to date, is the personalized feeling I receive when I use the QR code from Ethical Bean packaging.
So what is a QR Code? According to Wikipedia, a QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code and also known as a 2D Mobile Bar Code) is a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code). The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of any kind of data (e.g., binary, alphanumeric, or Kanji symbols).
In the context of the world wide web, a QR code, when scanned, by a smart phone or ipad, takes the person scanning the code to a web page, web application, etc. that interacts with the content on the page(s) through the features of their smart phone.
Benefits of a QR Code? To the average person with a smart phone, QR codes provide easy access to more information without the need to type in a URL address. It is easy to use! For a business, government or individual QR codes are nice way of making customized information readily available for customers or contacts, in an easy to access manner.
Getting Started. If QR codes peak your interesttry downloading a free universal bar code scanning application for your smart phone. I’ve tried several applications and my favourite is the NEOReader, for iphone. Once you have the application installed, find your favourite magazine, book, product at the grocery store, poster, website page, etc. and scan its’ QR code. I hope the content you encounter from your scan is informative and pleasing so you still have a positive feeling about the company who provided the QR code! Take some time, over the next few weeks, with your new QR applications, to scan QR codes you notice to see if QR codes are useful for you. Post your comments on my Facebook wall or the comment section of this blog to share them with others.
Going Deeper If you want to consider creating and using QR codes in your communications materials there are a few other items to consider:
Become familiar with QR codes and some of the proven practices on their best use. Two sources of information to consider include this article Top 14 Things Marketers Need to Know About QR Codes by Angie Schottmuller and the MMA Neustar Mobile Barcode Marketing webinar.
Understand how to generate a mobile bar code and find a suppliers service that your are comfortable with. One supplier we have used for QR code generation is QRStuff. Their website is simple and informative. They have a good track record at being innovative.
Plan out the content you will present to visitors who scan your QR codes, how it will be presented and how it will be measured. Ensure the effort you will undertake is strategic to your communications goals and fits into your current strategy.
How the QR codes present in mobile technology is key! Ensure the QR code Landing Pages are mobile compatible and to provide a rich experience for the visitor.
QR Codes - Insights, Tips and Advice:
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