I'm kicking myself for not discussing QR codes in my blog post...

For those who don't know what a QR code is, it's a matrix barcode containing text, an image or a URL that is scannable by essentially any smartphone. They have begun to explode as an innovative marketing tactic to draw people to Web sites or expose them to advertising messages. Despite being extremely cool and innovative, what do QR codes mean for the marketing world?

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QR codes mean a world of possibilities. Typically, people don't think advertising is "cool." As I've seen quoted a few times, if you talked to people the way advertising talks to people, you'd get punched in the face. But QR codes completely break the rules because consumers think they're cool. People want to use their smartphones to figure out what the codes mean or stand for. Many people still don't know what the codes mean or that they can scan them, but I believe they will continue to grow in popularity. QR codes allow for a whole new means of interactivity people must actively choose to scan the codes with their phones and discover what they mean. It intrigues consumers because there is an element of mystery and solving left up to the consumer, rather than traditional advertising methods that try to jam messages, images and brands down your throat.

A truly unique aspect about QR codes is you can put them anywhere. Outdoors, on print ads, on clothing, online the options are endless. Seeing a QR code feeds into natural human curiosity of wanting to know what's behind it, so no matter where people see QR codes, they'll want to decode them. Furthermore, it makes a brand or business seem hip and innovative if they're utilizing QR codes. For example, I couldn't help but notice someone made their Twitter icon a QR code. I was instantly intrigued, used my iPhone to scan it and then tweeted about it. QR codes are a conversation instigator and brands love the sound of their own name.

QR codes, like all forms of advertising, must be used well in order to be successful. When the initial excitement and mystery behind the QR codes wears off, the success of the codes will lie in good content. People will stop scanning QR codes if the content that they're led to isn't interesting. For QR codes to truly blossom and become a viable form of marketing, they must lead to content that is either informative, funny or intriguing. Leading consumers to interesting microsites, advergames or viral videos would be much more effective than simply sending consumers to a general brand Web site. If implemented correctly, QR codes can make a major impact on the marketing industry.

These innovative codes can affect more than just advertising, however. This technology can sustain the environment by eliminating the need or want for paper fliers or posters. It can even eliminate the need for paper tickets to events. Also, people can create their own QR codes using sites such as qrcode.kaywa.com for self-branding, individualization and even business cards. Overall, QR codes are brilliant and I believe they're here to stay. I'm more than excited to see what marketers do with this innovative technology.

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Posted in Business Post Date 01/17/2019


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