Quick Response Codes

an image of a QR code that resolves to SueCline.com

Quick Response Code

Quick Response codes (also called QR or 2D codes) are available in a variety of flavors but their mechanism and use cases are quite similar.

If you see one and have a web enabled mobile device, a photograph of the QR code with your camera will unlock the information encoded within.

That might include some of the following content types:

  • YouTube videos;
  • Mobile landing pages;
  • vCards;
  • Contact information; and
  • Coupons or special offers.

Increasingly, print creators are weaving QR codes into magazines, newspapers and direct mail pieces to build additional levels of engagement into their marketing materials.

Heidi Tolliver-Nigro at Digital Nirvana just posted that their review of QR case studies showed a 65-70% engagement with QR codes, even when a computer is physically present. That dovetailed nicely with Steve Rubel’s post yesterday on the rise of mobile computing devices, or, in his words, the end of the world as we know it.

One key takeaway from an excellent, must read piece:

Mobile devices, by their nature, force users to become more mission-oriented. As more internet consumption shifts to gadgets, it’s increasingly becoming an app world and we just live in it. Innovation, fun, simplicity and single-purpose utility will rule while grandiose design and complexity will fall by the wayside.

Increasing simplicity and fun in marketing sounds like a great outcome to me. How is it working in the real world? Mashable recently profiled how the Boston Globe is using SCVNGR to fuel themed promotions throughout the city of Boston.

With lots of great prizes to be had, is it selling more print editions of its paper? The jury is still out on that as the contest runs through September 3, but I suspect the outcome will be carefully watched by nervous publishers.

What is important to note, however, is that technology has advanced enough that these contests require significantly less human labor to create and monitor, and that testing new mechanisms of engagement only enhances the Boston Globe brand.

What could your business or organization gain from these new tools and technology? If you’ve got an innovative use, please share it!

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