You have probably seen something like this 2 D bar code:
This is known as a QR code, which stands for “Quick Response code. You may have seen on of these at the supermarket, in a catalog, on a business card, a digital boarding pass for an airline, on the side of a bus, or maybe on a “home-for-sale” yard sign. What’s the bid deal? You can’t read it. It’s not eye candy. What makes QR code today’s “hot” marketing tool is that it shortens the distance between information and action. Traditional bar codes have information. They store up to 20 bits of information… but that information just sits there unless a person decides to do something with it. A QR code handles thousands of alphanumeric bits of information… but the cool part… it also carries instructions about what to do with that information. Using a smart phone with a QR reader, direct marketers can direct someone from a printed product advertisement to check inventory on-hand or drop the item into the shopping cart with one click. QR codes can make a phone call, generate SMS text messages or manage a browser. Use a QR code in a direct mail postcard to direct the recipient to special offers and valuable coupons, support a political movement or make a donation. Another powerful feature of QR codes is how they can be tracked. You can determine where the scan came from (powerful if you are trying to determine how to localize your advertising) and even what type of phone scanned the code. The important question isn’t whether you should be using QR codes (you should) but rather how much have you shortened the distance between information and action for your product or service? It’s vital to create unique and meaningful action behind the code so that when your prospect goes through the effort to take out their mobile device to capture the code, the experience must be worth the effort.