The future of QR codes is uncertain and therefore, a highly debated topic. Will the adoption rate of QR codes increase or lose traction as new, and some argue better, digital options emerge?Forrester Research’s 2012 study says the percentage of adults scanning QR codes is increasing faster than the percentage of businesses incorporating QR codes into their marketing strategy. In June 2011, 14 million or 6.2% of U.S. mobile users scanned a QR code.
Just because QR codes are available does not mean every company or individual must use them. Similar to social networking platforms, QR code usage depends on its effectiveness in reaching your target audience. It is important, however, to stay current with all your digital marketing options, so this article provides a brief background on QR codes and their potential uses.
1. What is a QR code?
QR code stands for Quick Response code and is a two-dimensional bar code that can be interpreted by using a QR code bar-code reader or a smartphone device and a QR code-reading app.
2. How does it work?
Scan a QR code using your smartphone’s QR code app-reader to discover the encoded message.
3. What type of message can be embedded in QR codes?
- Plain Text
- SMS [text message]
- Geo coordinates
- Additional types of messages: TAGO or BeQRious
4. Where are QR codes found?
The degree of creativity is up to the business or individual, but some uses include: business cards, bill boards, buildings, magazines, print publications, venue tickets, event badges, real estate listings, retail shop windows…
5. Why & how can QR codes support your PR & marketing efforts?
- Creates a Call To Action
- Opportunity to directly connect with publics: Engage current & future customers
- Links print, online & mobile PR efforts
- Message is instant & timely
- Pushes traffic to website
- Provides immediate access to information; promotions, contact information, latest news, company background, bios
- Monitor & evaluate impact of QR code effort
The key to QR codes is instant, timely and useful information. Make it worthwhile to scan your QR code.
6. How do I make a QR code?
To create your individual QR code, you can use a free online QR-code generator or you can contract a professional to design it. The most recent trend is to include a brand logo or recognizable image within the QR code design.
7. Why use this technology?
- Company viewed as “innovative”
- Use in print & online
- Facilitate immediate access & action
- Simple & easy to use
- Easy to track results
8. The future of QR codes?
Since digital technology and consumer preferences change rapidly, it is impossible to accurately predict the future of QR codes. Currently, QR codes have a usability issue because smartphone devices are required for use. It will be interesting to see how an increase in smartphone users affects QR code usage. Will QR code usage continue to increase or will a new trendsetting tool dominate the market place?
How to: Make your QR codes more beautiful (Mashable)
Create a Quick Response Code (QR Code) image using Google Chart (IBM)