Years ago a multimedia experience meant reading the newspaper while the radio or TV was playing in the background. If when reading that paper and motivated to order theater tickets, for example, one would need to get up, find a pen, grab the tethered phone and have a credit card handy to complete the transaction – and then – wait for tickets via snail mail.
Today, with increasing use of mobile devices to get news and information, one need only to have a Quick Response (QR) scan application on a smart phone to access the array of materials behind the 2-dimensional square “circuit board” symbol. Video snippets, product information, shopping tips and links to retailers can be uncovered by clicking on the code. All this is available in one step – without ever getting up from the chair. The complete transaction can be done electronically with immediate confirmation – paperless and effortless.
Now frequently appearing on print advertisements, posters,
packaging, TV ads, and even clothing, QR codes are transforming the way information is shared and offers marketers new opportunities to reach audiences and elicit immediate action. It makes getting at information easy without needing to type in a Web address.
“There is a good reason why mobile devices have an autocorrect feature – typing accurately on a cell phone is hard. Whilst autocorrect might be useful for texting, it does not work for typing in a URL, or a Web address. Thankfully, QR codes make seeing a Web address in a newspaper or on a poster, and then visiting the site on a mobile device, as easy as snapping a photograph. The essence of marketing is making life easier for the customer, and QR codes can do just that,” says James Moore, Director of Online Learning at DePaul University’s College of Commerce in Chicago.
In a recent study conducted for The American Marketing Association, 72 percent of those surveyed said that they have seen a QR code, yet nearly 3 in 10 do not know what it is. These facts alert marketers to the importance of educating clients and audiences to the benefits of the QR codes.
At Peace & Harmony Solutions, a Chicago-based marketing communications firm, owners Gwen Griffin-Harmon and Marla L. Blanton, are talking about this feature and its benefits to their clients.
“We see QR codes as cost-effective enhancements that add not only meaningful information but demonstrate a contemporary communications style for clients.” “QR codes in conjunction with other online tools; website, Facebook and Twitter transition our customers into digital magnets. Attracting more eyes organically translates into new leads, new business, new contracts and new clients. Digital magnets will also build rapport with existing clients giving them more opportunities to share their messages,” said Gwen.
While Peace & Harmony clients are learning more about the availability of these “secret” code messages, the owners say that they are experimenting with how best to fit them into design schemes.
“We are always testing different approaches to help our clients stay ahead of the curve in their respective industries. Sky’s the limit on what these codes can be applied to – like the wrapper of a cookie that offers a double gift – a tasty cookie and additional product or program information,” said Marla.
To “crack the code” behind the QR code, contact Peace & Harmony at http://peaceandharmonysolutions.com.
Written by Chicago-area writer Linda Bosy. Reach her at Lindabosy@gmail.com