You see these mini, psychedelic squares everywhere these days – on posters, flyers, brochures, and all manner of products from wine bottles to business cards. They have even been incorporated into jewellery, tattoos and headstones! No, they are not mazes or random inkblot tests but, if you see “opportunity” when you look at them, you’re going in the right direction!
Quick Response codes – or QR codes for short – are simply two-dimensional barcodes, which were created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, and are being used more and more, thanks to the growing popularity of smartphones. Much like the barcodes on items purchased at your local supermarket, QR codes should contain vital information about the article at hand. In the same way that scanning barcodes makes checking out at any store quicker, a QR code makes checking out your website, product and/or promotion an absolute breeze.
Any owner of a smartphone can download a free, or low cost, QR reading application (“app”). Once downloaded, just open the app, hold your phone up to any QR code (so it appears within the viewfinder) and click a button. Just like taking a photo with your camera really. In the time it takes to say, “Beam me up, Scotty” you are instantly transported to the relevant website.
We recently helped a client design a poster for their office window, which has a small QR code included on it. If a potential client is looking at their poster after-hours and wants to book the option advertised, they can scan the QR code and immediately arrive at the booking page of the company’s website – thereby decreasing the chance that the client will forget about it by morning when the office re-opens. This is a simple addition to a poster they had decided to display anyway, that allows them to make money while they sleep! Do you see opportunity now?
There are plenty of resources available that will create a QR code to link to any webpage you want, at low or no cost. It takes seconds and you can immediately incorporate it into anything you desire. Most of the QR codes you’ll see in circulation are standard QR codes, but you can also (with a bit of patience and some design savvy) customise your QR code, like the VaVaZoom one above. In our case we decided we wanted our company logo incorporated – just another way for us to stand out from the crowd.
Recent statistics show that 20.1 million mobile phone owners in the US used their devices to scan a QR code in the three-month average period ending October 2011, and predictions are that the number of people using QR codes will continue to grow dramatically. So, with QR codes being incredibly easy to use and to incorporate in your wider marketing toolbox, and if it encourages even one new client to engage with your brand in a way they wouldn’t have otherwise, why wouldn’t you consider it?
Just Google “QR codes” if you want to know more. There are lots of good examples of companies using QR codes in ways that demonstrate thinking ‘outside the box’. Or get in touch with us at VaVaZoom. Like QR codes, we’re all about ease of use, saving you time and money, and making your business generate greater profits with less frustration. We’d love to talk to you about this and other innovative ways your business can reach out to a broader audience.
1 According to Comscore.