Quick Response Codes aka QR Codes

Welcome again to your 10am meeting on Tuesday with your mobile marketing professionals.

This week’s vocab:

Quick Response Code – A quick response code, or QR Code is a two-dimensional bar code that when scanned with a QR code reader will perform an action.  QR code readers can exist as Apps, web utilities, or they can work in conjunction with a camera, which is most common on mobile phones.

How quickly the world can change.  Just when you were ready to tell your potential clients to text MCC to 88500 so they could access your web content from their mobile phone, technology presents a new option, a faster and more direct option.  A QR code, or quick response code can be scanned by a mobile phone (with QR Reading capabilities) and it can cause an action to occur instantly.  Here are some examples of some actions that can occur; the launch of your mobile website, the opening of an e-mail with a specific recipient already filled out, entrance in a survey or contest, etc.

This technology works faster than a text message and it also eliminates a step, or two!  However, it’s not time to jump right into QR Codes, the technology is still developing, as is the scanning ability for each type of phone.  Just as you are to have a mobile website to compliment your traditional website (to cover all your basis), the same is expected of using a Mobile ID and a QR Code.  For now, you shouldn’t do one with out the other.  Although the QR Code technology is very common amongst Japanese phones & carriers, standing text messaging campaigns using a Mobile ID are currently the go to move here in the states.   And I assure you the move to the states is coming.

The capabilities and possibilities that QR codes create are a huge success in Japan.  Cell phone owners would have the ability to scan a QR code in a store front to get all the stores contact info & hours of operation saved in their device, or the opportunity to scan a code on your TV or computer screen to get more information about the product being showcased.  In fact, you’ll already see QR Codes being used in quite a few places in the U.S.  Most recently, a fellow employee of Mobile Card Cast interacted with a QR code in a store front window in Midtown Manhattan.

As far as figuring out how QR Codes relate to your business, that would have to be done on a case by case basis.  However there are still many universal rules that we can apply to QR Codes, rules that we’ve learned from other Mobile Marketing technologies.  Here are a few.

1) Always use a 1:1 offer ratio.  – If you’re enticing someone to interact with you by giving them an incentive coupon or offer, make sure its a buy one, get one redemption rate.  Studies have shown that end users will always perceive a value in a 1:1 scenario.

2) Make sure your website is mobile enabled.  – As someone interacts with you through a text campaign, or QR Code campaign, they very well may end up at your website looking for more information.  Or perhaps the campaign was designed to send them there in the first place.  Is your site optimized for all 5,600+ handsets that are internet enabled?  Don’t void the potential transaction because the end user has a bad mobile web experience.

3) Be simple. – Texts are 140-160 characters, QR Codes shouldn’t have more than a short paragraph of information enticing the end user to snap a picture of it and your mobile website shouldn’t be more than a 5 – 10 pages.  The whole purpose of mobile is to be quick, on the move and easy to understand.  Keep this in mind.

Have a QR Code reader?  Some phones can download a QR Reader for free, on the iPhone I personally like the BeeTagg Multicode Reader.  It’s free.

This QR Code leads to the blog where this content is generated!

Or perhaps…

This QR Code will bring up some text about Mobile Card Cast!

Go ahead, scan them right from this screen.  But make sure that wherever they bring you to, it’s the mobile experience you want them to have.  As the technology develops even further, there will be more and more uses for all types of businesses.

By Michael Batiste

VP Business Development at Mobile Card Cast


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