Decoding QR Codes
You’ve seen them in newspapers, magazines, in stores and online. They can be placed on business cards, on menus, even in television commercials.
You know what I’m talking about: the black and white square that looks like a barcode. What exactly are they, and why are they appearing everywhere?
What is a QR code?
A QR – or quick response – code is a type of two-dimensional matrix barcode consisting of black modules placed on a white background in a square formation. These codes can contain data such as URLs, SMS, emails, geo locations, contact information and even resumes. Toyota first started using QR codes in the ‘90s, but businesses have recently started using these codes in marketing campaigns. This widespread trend has been appearing everywhere within the last year.
How do I use them?
QR codes are most frequently scanned with a mobile device such as an iPhone, Android or Blackberry by using the device’s camera. A QR code or barcode reader application is then used to decode it. Make sure your device is ready: codes can appear almost anywhere - like restaurants, movie theaters and even on television.
So why would I want to scan it?
QR codes are meant to offer a benefit. Companies use these codes for many reasons: coupons, contests, gifts, exclusive downloads, time-sensitive access to websites or to find out more information. Best Buy uses QR codes on the price tags of their televisions. Scanning a television’s QR code takes you to the Best Buy website, where you can read customer reviews and view special offers.
QR codes should be accessible, visible and rewarding. When incorporated into a marketing strategy, QR codes can be extremely effective if used correctly.
Have you ever scanned a QR code? If not, give it a try!
Tags: Public Relations, marketing, QR Code