QR codes are being increasingly noticed on products and in advertisements, popping up on everything from plastic cups to bus shelters and slowly but surely, we are learning to point and click.
However many people are still unaware of what the black modules on a white background in a square box stand for. So what are these little white boxes of jumbled-up barcodes?
QR Codes or, “Quick Response” codes, are barcodes that can be read by mobile phones. They allow an interactive element to be effortlessly added to your printing.
QR Codes are the perfect marriage of print and mobile smartphone technology. Users simply point their phone at your QR code and can instantly:
• View a web page with more information about your event or product
• Download a voucher or promotional code
• Add your contact details and information to their address book
• Get directions to your event or office location (via Google Maps)
• Receive a text message with special offers, more info, etc
• Download images and video
• and much more!
Here are just a few of the possibilities:
Place a QR code on an event or tradeshow banner that will automatically take users to an event schedule or other website:
A QR code on a direct mail postcard can be an effective way to convey more information than would typically fit on a postcard:
Place a QR code on your business card and users can automatically add all of your contact info to their address book:
Sometimes there just isn’t enough room for everything you want to say. This can be especially true for manufacturers who want to cut costs and save resources on packaging or other on-product branding elements. That’s where QR codes can help… use a QR code to link to your company’s homepage or important product information:
A QR Code can include phone numbers, text messages, V-Card data, HTML links or even plain text. Once scanned, your phone or QR enabled device will translate the information and open the appropriate program to use the encoded data. The unique properties of QR Codes allow users to scan codes when they’re upside down or even wrapped around a curved surface.
There are many different QR code scanning utilities available for the different smartphones on the market, many of them free. QR codes are extremely popular in Japan (where they were invented), but are starting to catch on in the UK and across Europe. As they become more popular, more and more users will add these utilities to their phones, and it is likely that eventually, most smartphones will ship with some type of QR reader installed.
So, have you started to embrace the power of QR Codes within your print marketing?