A few years ago, the linear web address was king. Anything that could fit an http: address on it seemed to include one. Once seen, all a customer had to do was to go home and type in the address to learn more about the product. This was most certainly a convenient way for companies to get their deals and other offers to the customer.
However, the linear web address had many drawbacks; for one, any number of distractions could turn a customer away from entering an address. For example, if they were at home and a household duty called, they may forget about entering the address entirely. As well, typing the address on anything else but a computer was not exactly the most convenient way for a customer to get required information.
As technology progressed, a quicker and better way to get information to customers that didn’t leave much room for distractions was soon developed: the QR code. This square-shaped code is able to contain over 4,000 alpha-numeric characters in a small block of space. The QR code has a host of benefits that the linear bar code simply cannot match.
Created initially for use in the auto manufacturing sector, the QR code was meant for bigger things. It was only a matter of time until the code’s benefits to marketing and advertising were realised.
Closing the Gap
The QR code utilises several technologies to narrow and even eliminate the gap between the customer and the information that the code provides about a company and its products. The QR code is really little more than a two-dimensional barcode.
When a person scans the QR code with their phone or tablet’s camera, they are taken to a web page designed for mobile devices where more information about the product can be had.
QR Code Uses
Just as with the linear web address, the QR code can be placed virtually anywhere, whether it’s on a series of inkjet labels, or in a magazine or newspaper. The best thing about the QR code is that it is more economical in terms of space; because it is square-shaped, it can fit easily and inconspicuously into the corners of a label, page or ad.
Business cards can also contain QR codes. Not only can recipients take the card for future reference, but they can also simply scan the code and store your contact information. Printed advertisements with QR codes can be tracked to determine the amount of traffic the ad obtained.
Direct mail pieces can get much more functional with the addition of a QR code. You can link it to any number of social media accounts to create a traffic ‘funnel’ to the online locations you desire.
If you sell food products, your product label can contain a QR code which takes the customer to an online location where they can get more nutritional information take a health-related quiz, or the like.
Should your company be promoting an upcoming event, a QR code can be a terrific way to provide more information. Inside the code, you can include directions to the event, lead customers to a special coupon which gives them an event ticket discount, or even a handy checklist that customers can use to ensure they have everything they need with them when they arrive at the event.
Regardless of the way it is used, QR codes certainly provide a way not only to bridge the online and offline worlds, but also communicate with customers in a much more efficient and effective manner.