So, what’s this and why is it interesting?
So this is called QR code. Here is the official denso-wave website dedicated to the QR code (as they have invented it, it’s the best place to get its specs from http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/index-e.html).
Maybe you begun to see some of those around recently, maybe in an Outdoor advertising or on a bottle of wine. What is it exactly? is like a barcode, with the difference that is a multi-purpose customizable barcode that can also be “linked to the web”. The small blak dots contain a unique code that can be translated into a plain text message, a phone number, a website adress, you name it.
What’s interesting about it? A lot of different things, really! First thing: user can get more information about the Advertisment with his own mobile phone. Imagine you are walking by a building and you see an ad of a special offer for a summer holiday and you think “wow that’s interesting, i want to know more”… typically you would have to pencil down the website adress (or type it in his mobile device) and then start your browser to open the web page. now with the appropriate software you’ll simply scan the QR codeand the device will do the rest. Easy. But is that all? not really.
On the other hand there is an advertiser (and/or the agency). How do they know how many people “converted” from a billbord ad? usually they use a separate web page address like www.brand.com/promo or www.brand.com/1234 to distinguish users that went to the site from the billboard add or from other sources… but users are lazy and not always they type the right address… QR code is the bridge that helps measure off-line / online conversion. When you land on the site once snapped the QR code, the landing page knows that you came from this code, therefore the advertiser knows how effective was the billboard campaign in engaging users with the brand to ask for more infomation. The real question is: why would users use the qr-code? just as a short-cut?
How many users do actually know about this technology? Only time will tell… but if advertisers link the usage of the qr code with a promotion (get higher discount if you use the qr code) or with a premium service (use the qr code to get information faster, or better or you name it) maybe it will be successfull… and users (or should i say now “consumers”?) will be happy… and so will be advertisers and agencies as this way they will measure offline effectiveness! 🙂
Some people asked me what generator i used. Google is always the best resource to start from, try with “QR code genearator” as keywords…. in case you are so lazy, here is a couple of links for you: http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ and http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/