QR codes are two-dimensional bar codes (providing very dense amounts of data) that can easily be encoded with marketing information. QR codes transition the offline world to the online.
QR codes can be placed almost anywhere (an ad in a magazine, on a website, on a movie poster in a theatre lobby, on a vending machine, on a storefront…) Use your QR code to “snag” your mobile audience and bring them back to one of your online points of presence for more information, to build a relationship, and for conversion.
QR Codes can facilitate the link between the offline world and the digital world.
Use your QR code to “snag” your mobile audience and bring them back to one of your online points of presence for more information, to build a relationship, and for conversion.
While QR codes offer a tremendous transition between the offline and online worlds, there has been a huge hesitation to their implementation and adoption by businesses and consumers. There are two elements that contribute to this tendency:
Users find it easier to search or enter a location in their browser than download a QR code reader application.
Businesses do not fully appreciate their potential utility and value, and hence do not know how to use them properly.
The first one is easy to tackle: Mobile device manufacturers have (or are starting to) install QR code reader capabilities right in the camera feature of the mobile device. No more downloading of apps.
The second one takes a little more thought. Here is the key: QR codes should provide utility and convenience through relevant content and features. This point is best described by way of a few examples:
QR Code Use Case Scenarios
Example #1: The QR code on a movie poster in the theater lobby. So I shoot the QR code with my camera/QR code feature and I am taken to the homepage of the theater chain’s website. That is not what I want to see! What I was hoping to find on the other end of that QR code w might be the following:
Who directed the film.
Who is in the cast.
Times and locations at which it is playing.
And it gets better…
I want to watch the trailer.
I want to buy tickets… online – for the next showing.
I want to reserve a seat (if my chosen theater allows that).
I might even want my popcorn and drinks waiting for me (having also been paid online and applied to my rewards card.)
That is what I want, what I expect, and what incentivizes me to use my phone to take and read the QR code. That is value; that is utility, that makes me more prone to continue reading QR codes.
Example #2: You are house shopping. While driving around you see a house with a FOR SALE sign out front, and on that sign is a QR code. You shoot the QR code and immediately get directed to the homepage of the real estate chain. Who cares? What you’d really like to see is:
The asking price.
Options for financing.
Ratings of the local schools.
Recreational facilities in and around the neighborhood.
And once again, it gets better…
You want to see a 360 degree interactive view of the inside of the house.
A visual of the floor plan – upstairs and down.
A click-to-call feature (accessing the phone function of the mobile device you are currently holding in your hand) that connects you directly to the selling agent.
And once more, that is utility. The takeaway of these examples is that utility that meets and exceeds the expectations of the audience must be provided in order for the QR code to be of value.