QR Codes; The Real Life State of Affairs
My QR State of the Union
QR codes are recognizable to many more people than last year but are still a long way from ‘mainstream’.
Mobile scans growing at over 800% since Q1 2010- per scanlife.com
I wanted to see how many real world examples that I could find so I headed out on a local mission to find QR codes around Atlanta GA, as this is my home-base, and a top social media connected city. I had hoped to find some great examples of QR in the the ‘real world’. Have a look at this video to see the result.
I’ve been seeing more and more QR at the tech events I attend including REBarCamp, ProductCamp, and RETechSouth. QR codes make good sense in these circles as many attendees are using smart phones and can quickly install and learn to use a scanner if they arent already.
A Very Short Primer on QR Codes:
In order to ‘use’ a QR code, it must be scanned. Many scanning apps are available for smart phones and this is where it all starts. One must have one of the tools in order to ‘read’ the code and make the leap to wherever the code leads.
One list of apps is found here;
These 2 dimensional codes were developed by an auto parts maker for inventory tracking and are capable of far more information that other barcodes. They are very reliable and sturdy meaning hold up well to scuffs and scrapes. The error correcting factor is big.
The developer and patent holder, has no interest in restricting its use by others, so it has become akin to open source.
QR Codes – An Easy Recipe
The codes are becoming very recognizable and are very easy to use. More and more will be appearing, and many may even prove to be useful, and accepted by regular humans. As smartphone use rises the QR use should follow, at an accelerated rate of growth.
Creating QR codes is very easy. There are many sites to do this and I’ll leave that for the reader to pursue. I’ll focus here on one of the easiest and most useful, IMO, and that is Google’s link shortner, http://goo.gl
In QR the information encoded is very often a url of some sort. By using goo.gl the link will be shorter, and will allow for tracking analytics. This is most a useful combination as marketers and is key in knowing what works.
The best use of QR is to direct the visitor to a mobile optimized page, which could be a video [my favorite! ] Sending someone to a regular web page is going to frustrate many users when they land there on a mobile screen.
When using print media like business cards, ads, signs, tent cars, etc, I would recommend a different code for each, even though they may all land on the same page.
One way I can think of to do this is to use the “?” in your url and use goo.gl to create the code to each
All of these URL’s are really the same as your browser ignores the “?” and stuff following it You may find this to be an easy way to track the clicks to each link via the different QRs. This way you can determine which of your marketing pieces is most effective.
This is just one of a million ideas and strategies you might employ with a QR promotion.
Hopefully this give you some ideas to get started in your own promos
The simple steps to QR Success
1.Create a mobile optimized page or video
2.Create a trackable URL to the page
3.Create a QR code
4.Print & distribute your code
5.Track your results
6.Rinse & repeat
Why You Should Consider Using QR Codes
It sets you apart
You will learn something
Very little downside risk!
Scanners – are Money ! [meaning people who scan codes have it!]
Most are men and most make over $50k yr!
Please share any comments or questions that you may have about QR codes !
Randy Barnes, aka rbarnesdotcom, is a geeky marketing guy with strong interest, ties, and influence in the social marketing world. Find him in most vibrant web communities and connect via your favorite. For some direct connection options just click or scan the code. If you cant find him there try the Waffle House.