Posted in May 27, 2011 - 10:22 Wayne Martinez
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QR Codes. Pixilated Rorschach Test or Modern Marketing Tool?

The practice of hardlinking with a QR Code

The practice of hardlinking with a QR Code

I’ve recently come across a number of instances where QR codes are being used more frequently in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. From real estate signs to merchandise catalogues received in the mail (anyone seen the latest REI catalogue?), it appears this not-so-new technology is finally gaining traction outside of the mobile industry. So, what are QR codes and why should you care?

Well, to start with, QR merely stands for Quick Response. The technology has been around for decades but has recently surged in usage, primarily because of the influx of sophisticated smartphones (think Android and iPhone) that enable users to download a barcode reader/app. The barcode itself looks like a pixilated Rorschach test configured into a square pattern. Once scanned, it can provide the user with a number of options – like the ability to download a vCard, a link to a website page, or simply to display some text – providing a link from the physical world to the cyber world, also known as “hardlinking.”

In the real estate agent example, they may choose to link directly to a website with a home tour or specs on the property, whereas a merchandiser’s catalogue may provide directions to the local store or a promotional offer. Either way, you can start to see the myriad of possibilities this technology provides. Just think, the next time you design that tradeshow booth, you can go-green by eliminating the sales sheets and simply link QR codes to the relevant product specs or demo videos, making your exhibit far more engaging to prospective customers and eco-friendly!

Are you game? Download a QR code reader and see where this code takes you.

Are you game? Download a QR code reader and see where this code takes you.

One caveat, however, as you consider applying this technology into your marketing efforts: Provide the user with something rewarding as oppose to the homepage of your website. They’ve made the effort to engage with your brand. Now seize the opportunity.

Dan Fisher is Account Executive and Business Development Manager at NAVAJO Company.

City Hall QR Code image courtesy of marmaza via the Creative Commons attribution license.

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