QR Codes & How To Use Them

QR codes!! What are they?? Well, QR means 'Quick Response' and accordingly when used, the purpose of these codes are to respond quickly! They are those square barcode-like icons that we're seeing pop up all over the place; they can be found on packaging, leaflets, posters, signs, business stationery and so on. They're used for all sorts of things and all you need to do to start using them is install a QR Code Scanner/Reader App such as QR Droid on your smart phone. The aim of the game is that, once a QR code has been scanned, they direct the user to exactly where the code intends them to be and quickly!

Originally, QR codes were a tool developed by and for use within the manufacturing industry. However, the potential for these interactive codes within the world of marketing was quickly recognised and we began to see them evolve. At the time, this was done with little consideration for how they would be received or even used by the public and as such they peaked too early; before their time. The view of many was that QR codes were obsolete as they didn't do what they were meant to and therefore couldn't deliver on their promises. However, with the advent of the smart phone, the rapid growth of the market and developments in how people now use their mobile phones, the once novelty QR code is making a come back and rightly so. People now have the 'at hand' means to interact with QR codes instantly.

Becoming ever popular, QR codes enable potential customers to interact in what was previously 'static' promotional material which they could choose to take or leave. Now, QR codes offer a seemingly effortless way for customers to engage with a person/brand/product or company via the material that it's been incorporated within.

Depending on what the QR code is used for, they allow the potential customer to act in the here-and-now and this form of marketing increases the likelihood that the customer will act as the QR code's 'call to action' requests. These codes are used to save time in that they can be used to irradicate the need to input an email address, website URL, telephone number and so on.

So, what else can QR codes be used for I hear you ask? The answer to that question is for pretty much anything that they can be linked to digitally! They can be linked to a coupon/special offer, a text message, a survey, contact details or a business card, details of how to enter a competition/contest, a geo-location (for mapping/tracking), a video (E.g. tutorial, movie trailer, virtual tour or business/services intro), a recipe or simply a specific website landing page such as an online shop or product and the list goes on.

QR codes don't have to be boring either, they are customisable so the style can be changed, colours can be tailored to that of your brand's, it's possible to incorporate logos or an icon that represents your 'call to action' e.g. perhaps the code is to encourage new social media likes. QR codes are also measurable and allow for the provision of analytics and they are also changeable in that they can be created without allocating a specific link for their end destination until such a time that it is decided what that link will be and the marketing campaign goes live (dynamic codes).

So if you're a consumer, you have easy ways to get interactive with your favourite brands, products and service providers and as a business, you have an opportune way to get interactive with your existing customers or to generate new business. Educators even have fun with QR Codes teasing their students and even sending them on wild goose chases!

Check it out, scan one of the codes above to connect with us via your preferred social media.... the hint is in the icon!

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