QR Codes and the Opportunity They Present

Have you ever been at the grocery store and seen a pixilated square about the size of a bar code on some item? Perhaps you’ve seen one in a magazine? These are known as QR codes, and they are popping up everywhere; even our Working Person’s Store printed catalogs which can be viewed online at WorkwearCatalog.com.

QR, or quick response codes, are great marketing opportunities. These codes can be scanned instantly with a smartphone and they link to a company’s website, contact information, contest giveaways, URLs, etc. They are becoming more prevalent due to their accessibility and intrigue for users.  Because of the increase in popularity of smartphones, this easy-to-use technology has found its place in today’s marketing strategies. For the person that is environmentally conscious, QR codes save paper and manual data entry costs.

As QR codes have become increasingly popular, questions of their staying power have arisen. The answers are complicated. Often, technology is touch and go. What is a hit today may be out of style tomorrow. Thus, marketers need to use QR codes for more stable things instead of dated promotions. A need must be established that dictates how these codes are best used.

A recent study by comScore, Inc. found that 14 million Americans scanned QR codes via smartphones in just one month. Clearly, a huge market can be reached through this medium. Interestingly, young to middle-aged, upper-income men used the codes most of any age range and income level. The study also noted that the codes were scanned most when found in magazines, newspapers, and on product packaging.

What companies need to ask is if this marketing tool is right for them. Part of that assessment is to understand the demographic the company is trying most to reach. If it is determined that these codes could benefit business, more facets of this tool must be examined.

While QR codes can be a user-friendly interface for information, companies need to consider where they should use them. It seems that stationary objects are best for the codes so consumers arenít forced to find their phones within a time limit. This would eliminate the possibility of QR codes on television; it’s too limited a time and would be difficult to scan.  In addition, a company’s code should be in a place that consumers have cell phone service. A marketing campaign failed because it put QR codes on billboards and subways, places too big and with no service, respectively. A business must be thoughtful when deciding the placement of QR codes.

Besides their ease of use for customers, QR codes are simple for a company to generate. All that must be done to obtain a code is as easy as going to a Web site and giving the information you want customers to see. A code is then generated and can be used specifically for the information provided.

If you feel enough of your clientele lack smartphones, list the code’s function beside it to lessen any worries. Not everyone is technologically advanced, so it is important not to leave those important customers out. If a business decides to use this marketing tool, it needs to educate staff about them to better help customers understand their function.

As soon as the worth of using QR codes sinks in, applying them in advertising is simple. QR codes open the door for many opportunities to expand and attract new customers.