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Gillian Rixey

What is a QR Code and why are they useful

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What is a QR Code and why are they gaining in popularity?

QR stands for Quick Response, and the QR Code is the trademark for a two-dimensional barcode first designed in Japan in 1994 for the automotive industry.   A barcode is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached.

QR Codes are typically attached to literature and merchandise of all sorts as a quick way for consumers and audiences to gain information via a smartphone about the product or service on offer. At its most basic a QR Code could simply contain the website, email address or phone number of the business being advertised, more fascinating uses see QR Codes being displayed on bus stops, train stations and subways giving you timetable information.  Users simply scan the QR Code with a smartphone and get taken to the website or receive the information on offer.

QR Codes are an Essential Marketing Tool

Since QR Codes link directly to the online world they present a myriad of marketing opportunities and are becoming indispensable for all marketing campaigns. Many campaigns see them conveying information like contact details, product specifications, event times and dates and special offers.  There use is limited only by the imagination.  You can provide your customers with practically anything you can convey in a Web Browser.

Customer Engagement and Measurement

By scanning the QR Code, potential customers and audiences are instantly more engaged with you or your business.  The scanning of a QR code and subsequent visit to your website can be registered and counted, either by including identifying digits in the QR code itself, or through backend technology on your website. With nearly 2 Billion mobile device users in the world, QR Codes are here to stay. Japan leads the way in the use of QR Codes but many countries in Europe are becoming aware of their marketing potential.  Although QR Codes have been around for a long time, they were very much ahead of there time.  The use of mobile technology is now making them prominent.

Some Modern Uses for QR Codes

  • - Website Marketing – Take mobile phone users directly to your website. Each QR Code can go to a personalized URL.
  • - Business Cards
  • - Emails Newsletters – Increase signups by having users scan through to a signup box.
  • - On Goods and Services – Allergy information, Organic details, Sustainability, Technical Specs, Recipes
  • - Conference Signage and Name tags
  • - Interactive Maps and Tour Guides
  • - Wedding Invitations – RSVP
  • - Books, eBooks, Pamphlets and leaflets
  • - Social Media
  • - Community Initiatives – To encourage feedback
  • - Advertising Campaigns
  • - Magazines – Link to reviews, feedback and Surveys
  • - Paintings, Art Galleries, Museums

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