From a business and marketing perspective QR Codes are fabulously useful. They allow consumers to pull ads instead of having adverts be pushed on them.
THE QR BARCODE, A JAPANESE SENSATION MAKING INROADS IN NORTH AMERICA.
For those not yet familiar with the QR barcode, this is what it looks like. Notice, there are no bars, just dots, which is why a lot of people remove the word ‘bar’ from the name and simply refer to this as QR Code.
The history of the QR Code is interesting. In the early years of Web 1.0 technology (about a decade ago, circa 2000), there existed a device called the CueCat. The CueCat attached to your computer and allowed you to scan barcodes in magazine ads, for example. These barcodes pointed your browser to URLs that provided further information on the product or service being advertised.
It was a great idea, but relatively badly executed. The problem was that advertisers didn’t want to incorporate the strange looking slanted barcodes into their adverts until enough people had the cat shape barcode scanner installed on their computers. Eventually, the chicken and the egg syndrome took the company down.
The issue was that the CueCat wasn’t mobile. It was attached to your PC. So you could only scan those few barcodes in those few ads in those few magazines that you purchased and that used this technology.
Enter the second decade of the second millennium and things have progressed quite a bit. The new QR technology, proven over the years in Japan, is finally arriving in North America.
What’s really powerful about QR Code is that it can be scanned by mobile devices like BlackBerries and iPhones with but a click of a button. Just point, take a picture, and connect. Simplicity at its finest.
The QR Code has another advantage as it’s not simply a URL pointer, it actually contains information. For example, if you add a QR Code to your product’s label, say a new energy drink, or a new food product, interested customers can scan it with their mobile while shopping to read reviews, nutritional information, recipe ideas, or to get coupons, sign-up for newsletters, or to benefit from other promotions. The possibilities are endless.
In Japan QR Codes are everywhere, from movie theatres, giant billboards, to arcades, to restaurants. You can take a picture of a movie poster, and the embedded QR Code will show you movie listings at your favourite theatres. You can take a picture of an arcade game, and the QR Code will send you instructions, user comments, hints, etc. Restaurants have reviews, their menus, daily specials, and much more, all embedded on QR Code labels located in their front windows.
From a business and marketing perspective QR Codes are fabulously useful. They allow consumers to pull ads instead of having adverts be pushed on them. They allow for true connectivity and full use of Web 2.0 and Social Media technology. For example, you may see a book that you like. Scan the QR Code with your phone, follow the author on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, fill out a review, join a discussion forum, the possibilities are truly endless, all thanks to a bunch of dots, cleverly arranged on a few square centimetres of space.