QR Codes – What Are They and Why Should I Use Them?

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There has been quite a buzz lately about QR Codes. The Vancouver Sun and Entrepreneur have posted recent blogs, major corporations are integrating these unique codes in their marketing campaigns, you see them online, on ads, on signs and yes even on business cards. Even here in Canada our own local York Region Media Group has just announced its use of QR codes starting this week.

But what are they?

QR stands for quick response. The developer intended for the information contained in the QR Code to be decoded at high speed.

QR Codes were created in Japan by a subsidiary division of Toyota in 1994. They are similar to conventional UPC codes or bar codes but are more sophisticated. These codes contain data both horizontally and vertically. Originally designed for use in the automotive industry they have quickly been adapted for other commercial and non commercial uses.

Did you know that you can read these codes with your smart phone or android? Some of these phones have readers already built in. Blackberry for instance has one built into Blackberry Messenger. Some readers require you to take a picture while others will simply scan and decode in real time. If your phone does not have a built in application or you want increased functionality other free applications are available for download for your specific model that will enable you to scan and read these information rich codes.

Using your phone’s camera and a code reader app, you scan the graphic to discover online information, see videos, get directions or simply receive messages and contact information. QR Codes are so versatile that you can even embed a coupon for your customers, and be graphically creative with the funny square digital code. Many industries around the world have embraced their use and even Murakami – Louis Vuitton has created a unique sophisticated and stylish QR Code for their campaign. The possibilities are endless.

With smartphones being in the hands of so many people, the ability to perform mobile searches, browse online from phones and receive so much information immediately from anywhere is almost commonplace. For your business, QR Codes seem to be the next logical step. You can transmit so much information at the touch of a button directly to your clients’ phone. They can get directions to your store, discounts for your products and services, notification of your most recent promotions, contact details, a link to your website, or a buy button. You can print QR codes on anything, business cards, flyers, print ads, online, T-shirts and even hats. Many major corporations are already using QR Codes in their marketing and customer service. Are you considering it yet?

write by Ivor

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