The Wonderful World of QR Codes
I recently joined the crowd who find QR Codes to be a great way to enhance their social media. Of course I am asked frequently what is a QR Code and what are they used for? At first I had no idea other than the fact it is a image that barcode scanner apps like ShopSavvy can scan like a barcode. What is produced from the scan of the image is information on whatever is linked to the image.
Yaw, I know..that sounds confusing..I suppose you could scan the QR image I have here in my blog to see how it works… here is Wikipedia’s definition..
A QR Code is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.
Things the QR Code can be used for
What I am excited about is how the QR Code is helping merge the online and offline marketing of a business. Naturally, the QR code can be placed on web-sites and linked to product descriptions, but what I show my clients is the biggest advantage is in placing the code on printed material and most importantly Business Cards. Of course there are other application for using the QR Code.
Business Cards Rule
One of the biggest clichés of business has been the Business Card. Yes, business cards are one of the only Old School business tools that really has not changed. Everyone has to have them to do business. The biggest problem with Business Cards is what to do with the thousands you collect form other people.
I suggest to my clients to place a QR on their New business cards. Their Business Card QR should be linked to their contact information so someone can scan the QR and their contact info is downloaded automatically into the card’s recipient’s smartphone. Maybe a QR Code Generator like QR Stuff would work for you.
Once the QR is scanned…Bada-Bing..the info is stored in the phone and there really is no need for the card..that is unless it is a cool card and it would look good in your collection of cards you are sticking to your office wall as part of the collage you are creating.
Things the QR Code Really Does Not Work for
One of the things I am finding very strange is those people..I think they are people…who place their QR Image in the avatar of their Facebook and Twitter Account. Really..do they think I and the rest of the rational thinking world are going to whip out our smartphone and scan the QR code on the screen to see wtf they are? Please!?!
I am not for sure placing QR Codes on billboards really is worth the expense. Now, of course, of the billboard was placed along the highway where traffic backs up I could see someone attempting to scan the code through their windshield while sitting in traffic, but unless that happens a lot is this a good way to use QR’s.
QR Tattoos?!?!..geez…when I heard about someone doing that it sent shivers of PAIN through me and thoughts of..WTF and OMG. And then to think what information the code would possible be linked to was a little haunting as well. I am not sure QR Codes are really good for skin art.
Naturally, like everything else out here in La-La-Land, there are those who think being funny is being cool..or worst, those who are sociopaths and are out to get back at the world. These people will place links to viruses and malware in QR Codes. So, beware and make sure you are dealing reputable people when scanning a QR Code.
I really like what QR Codes can do for businesses who are more brick and mortar than online operations. The QR Code truly is a tool that helps marry online and offline operations.