What is a QR code?

QR Code (Quick Response Code) is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data. – Wikipedia

On newsstands, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition offers extras such as videos of bikini-clad models accessible through bar codes scattered throughout the issue.

Real estate agents are placing them on front lawn for-sale signs, enticing prospective buyers to hop out of their cars, scan the tags and receive all the listing information, including photos, to help them make a purchase decision.

Some of today’s top music acts are leveraging QR codes to engage with fans. Tim McGraw and Dave Matthews, among others, feature QR codes that grant access to free music videos and chances to sign up for their mobile fan clubs. Yes, QR codes and music do go together. A quick visit to Tim McGraw’s digital properties shows that they are definitely leading the way.

A survey by Scanbuy found that mobile bar code usage jumped 700% in 2010 compared with 2009. Imagine your business card as an offline hyperlink to your achievements, linked-in profile, twitter account. Newspaper advertisements converting into a small QR code holding immense information when you click it from your smartphone.


Advantages of QR Codes

Well, seems to be a new in thing for marketers to play around with. First things first, I believe this is going to save huge costs in advertising via print mediums; a small QR code in a magazine which may not take much of expensive space, is going to tell it all.

Another advantage that large corporate players besides working cooperatively to create global standards — is creation of back-end code management systems that enable companies using their codes to keep tabs on who’s using the bar codes.

Every time a code gets scanned, it brings 20 to 30 different metrics associated with the consumer, from the type of operating system being used (in the phone) to other things a consumer has voluntarily decided to enter into the scanner’s settings such as gender, age or other demographic information to create a user profile.

Checkout this interesting story of how Susanne gets a job through QR codes

Here is an ad that positions BlackBerry phone as a QR code reader to develop relations at personal level and just helped us identify another use of it.

What is a QR code?

Satyam is a Consultant with Infosys Ltd. and editor / founder of marketinomics.com. When he is not talking about Digital Marketing or dreaming of CRM strategies, he can be found on a treadmill. He enjoys travelling, reading and listening to music! Catch up with him on twitter at @xatyam