QR (Quick Response) codes are two-dimensional barcodes that are scannable by smartphone cameras when you download the appropriate QR reader app. You can generate your own QR code with the information you want others to read on their phones quickly. One type of QR code generator can embed a URL, text, a phone number, or a ready-to-send SMS message into a QR code. The other multi-colored code is from Microsoft and can embed the same type of information. Both tags are free to create and use, each one requires its own QR code reader.
You can add QR codes to print advertising, posters, product packages, business cards, conference badges, or display it on websites, billboards and even t-shirts. In the example below, this Club Monaco store in New York displayed a QR code on the store window, which linked to a YouTube video of a photo shoot. What would have been more impressive is if the QR code linked to a page on their website telling you exactly how much that outfit in the window costs.
So why are QR codes becoming more and more popular? Industry experts say it is because of the growing use of smartphones in the U.S. According to data from The Nielsen Company, 29.7 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers now own smartphones. However, only 22 percent of Fortune 50 companies use QR codes, according to research from Burson Marsteller. The use of QR codes is in the beginning stages and while businesses can capitalize on this growing trend to impress their clients, there are far better benefits in doing so.
As an integrated marketer, why should you be interested in QR codes? Here are three of the best reasons:
1. Engage users
Use QR codes to attract new customers and encourage them to spend more time with your content. You can also provide them with additional information despite space limitations.
2. Connect to online content easily
With QR codes, consumers don’t need to type in a lengthy URL. They can just scan the code and are taken to the appropriate page right away.
3. Convert shoppers
Give consumers more relevant information when and where they want it. According to an Accenture study, many smartphone users said that they prefer using their mobile device rather than interacting with a store employee. Retailers can benefit by placing QR codes on products, shelving, circulars and signs to provide information that helps close the sale.
More information: Fun facts and clever uses for QR codes.