In a recent post, I asked what people thought would be the hottest trend in 2011. A lot of responses discussed the popularity of location-based social networking sites, but there were also quite a few mentions of QR codes.
QR codes are those interesting, fuzzy-looking squares that you may have seen pop up recently on
product containers, convenience store shelving, or even online. First established in Japan in 1994, the QR code is a 2-dimensional barcode consisting of black elements arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The intent is to scan data at very high speeds, usually with a camera phone or barcode reader. Due to an estimate projecting that, in 2012, more smartphones will be sold than PCs, QR codes are going to affect the way websites are designed and products are promoted.
Take an athletic shoe product, for example. At the next World Shoe Association trade show, a company can add a simple QR code to its handout, which links to a sweepstakes landing page providing key information or even a special offer. Or perhaps it can be taken further to incorporate the product and the use of a durable hiking shoe by creating a QR scan treasure hunt – where each scan links to a new splash page featuring a clue to the next one.
QR codes can be used to swap contact information. Instead of exchanging business cards, a single QR code can be scanned, and the contact information will save to your smartphone.
As this technology becomes more and more popular, there are a few ideas that should be considered to optimize results:
- Offer exclusive prizes, offers, or information to those scanning the QR code that are different than what is available to everyone else.
- Optimize the website for mobile-browsing.
- Include an obvious call-to-action so that the audience is encouraged to scan the code.
- Establish a plan to engage people who scan the code over time, rather than a one-time promotion.
The important idea to remember is that QR codes create a new opportunity to enhance the relationship with a customer/prospect who has already engaged with the brand, building positive word of mouth or even a future sale.
— Jonathan Ginburg, Senior Account Executive
- Let’s back up. What is a QR Code? (tjclaridge.wordpress.com)
- Who’s Really Scanning All Those QR Codes? [INFOGRAPHIC] (mashable.com)
- QR Code: New Wave or Passing Fad? (thesocialtrex.com)