QR Codes may seem to be new technology but they have been around since 1994! What started as an ingenious way to keep track of car parts in Toyota’s production process back then is now becoming mainstream technology for everyone to use. Keyword: Smartphones!
The QR code is just a square barcode. What makes it interesting is it’s ability to represent hyperlinks. It is exactly *THIS* property that gets us to use QR Codes as ‘portals’ between the physical and the online world! A world we know so well: the online world with all the click-able hyperlinks and information at our fingertips…
Pretty much everyone in business owns a smartphone nowadays that is capable of running apps, the very same technology that allowed the immense growth of social media platforms such as Twitter. Just like with QR Codes now, it took quite some time for the masses to wrap their minds around Twitter. Twitter started to take off when people started answering the question: ‘What do you find interesting enough to share with the world?’ instead of the lame: ‘What are you doing?’
A similar ‘wrap your mind around it’ time-frame is happening for the QR Code, as more people are starting to use them in innovative ways.
The simplest way to use a QR Code is by embedding a URL hyperlink in the data pattern. Scanning the code will take the phone’s browser to that URL. It is as simple as that. But mind you, this is where creative minds can do beautiful innovative things! The sky is the limit!
3 Common mistakes are:
- QR Codes leading to full blown websites: never forget the user is using a PHONE with a small screen. Keep the information mobile friendly.
- Superdense QR Codes: some QR Codes are extremely large and just because of the sheer size difficult to scan on phones with lower resolution camera’s.
- Wrong links: some QR Codes just simply don’t work because of typing mistakes and were apparently never tested before printed.
Also keep in mind that QR Codes can be set up with a ‘tracking system’. Every time someone scans the code this keeps statistics, getting it measurable. I always like to say: If it’s not measurable, it is miserable!
I invite the reader to do some research on QR Codes, just Googling it will bring up lots of information. Read some of it and stay tuned for the next article in this QR series on RapidTimeNews.
This article is the first of a series to explore the possibilities of using QR Codes in businesses’ marketing mix.
Hans Looman is the creator of the QR.Get Linked! QR Code system.