HOW IT WORKS
QR Codes or Quick Response codes is a two-dimensional (2D) bar-code that may be decoded using QR code readers. Software can be installed on modern smart-phones to enable the phone’s camera as a QR code reader. Information can thus be transferred to cell phones where it can be used to access websites, mobile sites, send an email, make a phone call, save contact information and much more.
QR codes were initially used as a tracking mechanism for auto parts; however QR codes have proven to be very useful in marketing and convenience related applications that are well adapted for smartphone users. In the recent months, we have seen QR codes show up on marketing materials such as business cards, flyers, catalogues, brochures, billboards, promotional posters for various products and movies, among other things. These have also been seen on newspaper and magazine ads, artwork, promotional products on display, business entrances in and other everyday things.
There are two main things that need when you deal with QR codes:
1. A mobile phone with a camera and Internet connectivity.
2. QR Code Reader software.
WHERE DO I GET A QR CODE READER?
Most smart-phones coming out nowadays have a QR Code Reader already installed. For some, you would need to download the QR Code Reader from an application store like Google Play or Apple Store and install it yourself. It is recommended that you visit the website of your phone manufacturer to search for a QR Code Reader approved for your phone. Ensure that you choose a QR Code Reader with all the basic functions. Some code readers can also scan tw0-dimensional (2D) bar codes that allow you to verify product prices and other product information in shopping centres.
Note that you would have to check on the compatibility of these readers with your phones as some readers work only on iPhones or Android phones. There are readers that work on the Symbian OS found on Nokia phones and Java found on lower end smart phones.
HOW DO YOU SCAN THE QR CODE?
After you have installed your reader, fire up the application and snap a picture of the QR Code. Make sure that your hand is steady and that you are able to include the whole code into the picture. There will be some instances when the scan would fail, do not worry, just keep on snapping.
RESOLVING THE LINK
Depending on your software, it may take some five to thirty seconds for the application to resolve the information for you. That is to say, to decode the information written behind the code. If it is a URL, the QR code reader will open your browser and let you surf the mobile site the code links to.
If it is a VCF card, a file that contains a person’s contact information, it will offer to save the information into your address book.
QR CODES EVERYWHERE!
You don’t have to be a business owner in order to benefit from the emerging QR Code technology. However, if you are a businessperson, it is an incredibly versatile and cost effective technology that is available to you. A wave of acceptance is sure to hit the world as soon as more people become aware of its great many uses.
Ordinary people can generate a QR Code for free and get other people or customers to go to their website, blog, social media page, product pages, on-line shops, media sites and much more. Obviously you want the target site to be responsive and compatible with mobile devices.
QR Codes also acts as a business card. People are already beginning to print QR Codes onto their business cards, but who wants to keep the business card if the QR Code enables you to save the relevant contact information directly to a cell phone’s contact manager? QR Codes are also expected to replace yellow pages advertisements, brochures and many other forms of printed advertising, or otherwise printed advertisements will feature a QR Code to send mobile users directly to a company website with much more information that cannot be accommodated in a printed advertisement.
Printed marketing material is expected to fade into history as people can now access information directly from the Internet using their cell phones, and no longer need to keep the printed versions in their briefcases. With mobile text readers, your cell phone can even read the local news or other information on the Internet to you while on your way to work.
Simply put, a QR Code is a bridge between your off-line product and on-line information. The separation between the two is now blurred. What’s more, with mobile smart phones and the internet, you can get connected to any information no matter where you go.
While QR Codes alone may be great to achieve some marketing objectives, it is worthwhile to consider the modernisation of your business marketing and communication strategies for the Mobile Internet era. AmpleTech’s consultants assist businesses with integrated VoIP services, web-hosting services, mobile websites, dynamic content facilities with RSS news-feeds, electronic discount coupons, public perception management, social networking, search engine optimization and much more. Contact us if you need professional services to modernize your business for the mobile era.
TOP 4 REASONS WHY QR CODES ARE GOING TO HIT IT BIG
1. QR Codes is FREE to generate and use. You can easily get your own QR Codes and embed these into your promotional materials, business cards, company letterheads and merchandise. What’s more, it is easier to deploy QR Code strategies and to measure your marketing effectiveness than any other traditional measuring method.
2. You are not limited in terms of length, size and space of a mobile site. Traditional advertising works on limits as you pay for additional advertising space, additional airtime, additional newspaper columns, etc. By fixing a QR Code to your off-line advertisement, you are literally limitless in the amount of information you can include at the Internet landing page.
3. Even older mobile phones that use Java capabilities are now able to get a QR Code reader. More and more people are getting on the Web through their mobile phones every day. Global mobile data traffic has steadily been increasing with the advent of wireless connectivity, high speed Internet and Internet-enabled mobile phones. According to a study conducted by Opera, mobile data traffic in August 2010 increased by 10% in over a month’s time, marking the fastest increase in the preceding six months. This upward trend has also been continuously observed since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and search engines like Google investing in mobile technology. You certainly don’t want to miss the mobile market in your marketing strategies and QR Codes are providing the bridge between past, present and future marketing strategies.
4. People that are using their computers to access the Internet, reached the 1.5 Billion mark during 2010, while more than 53 million smart-phone users in the United States alone accessed the Internet via their mobile devices. Worldwide there are more than 4.6 Billion cellphone users that are steadily switching to smart-phones when their contracts expire. This represents more than three times the amount of Internet users by the end of 2010. With more mobile service providers providing Internet access, cell phones are becoming the default gateway to access the Internet by those who do not have other access to Internet facilities or computers. There is an audience for QR Codes that is just waiting to be tapped!
WHAT ARE DYNAMIC QR CODES?
Regular QR Codes are static as the website address is hard coded in the actual image, so you’ll always be directed to the same default web-page when the QR Code is scanned. If you change your website address or simply want surfers to be directed to a different page on your website, then you need to create a new one and redistribute it with your latest literature.
Dynamic QR Codes can however be generated by websites, and along with the responsive Mobile Pages, AmpleTech can provide a complete business solution to allow businesses the freedom to implement the most modern and advanced marketing strategies, where each company product or service has a unique internet address, corresponding auto-generated QR Code, RSS News-feed and a unique marketing and measuring strategy.
QR CODE READERS
Note that Android ™ is an open source mobile operating system currently supported by Google. Although most phone manufacturers support the Android operating system, the manufacturer may have their own software add-ons. Free QR Code Readers for Android can however be obtained from Google Play.
NB! The links above direct you to the pages of the software providers. AmpleTech does not take any responsibility regarding the quality of the software on offer, or the user terms and license terms established by them.