by Brian MacKenzie
Since last summer, I have been seeing A LOT of buzz on the use of QR codes, but not a lot of the actual codes themselves. While QR codes have been around for years, and virtually appear everywhere in Japan, they have yet to hit mainstream marketing in the United States. However, in 2011, I believe we will start seeing these codes everywhere! With the increase in Smart Phone usage, QR codes should be seen more like ‘interactive print’, a seamless transition from viewing the code in 2D print to an interactive activity. The information embedded in the code could contain contact information, provide a map to a location, link to a website, display a text message… and the list goes on.
So what’s taking so long? Why haven’t we seen more of them? I think for QR codes to become successful here in the U.S., there needs to be a two step educational process in 2011. The first step is to educate the mainstream public on what QR codes are and how to access them. The second step is to demonstrate the numerous benefits that QR codes can provide for both the marketing community and the target market.
Why am I really excited? QR codes can now allow marketers to think beyond the print ad in a way they could not before. A marketing campaign can now seamlessly tie in interactive web activities, all with a simple scan. Imagine the possibilities: the print ad is just the start of a journey as the QR code takes the viewer further via video, a business card that can actually download via QR code all your contact information into someone’s address book, a product in a store that provides additional information or a sales promotion when its QR code is scanned, or a birthday invitation whose QR code can provide an interactive map to find your way to the party. The possibilities are endless.
I think 2011 is going to be the year of the QR code! But don’t just take my word for it, here are a couple of links to useful QR code articles and QR code generators. That’s right, the best thing about QR codes is they are “open source”, completely free to create. So don’t just sit there, create your QR codes today!
QR Code and 2D Code Generator
Kerem Erkan has produced an excellent QR Code, Micro QR Code, Datamatrix and Aztec Code
generator with many interesting features including URL shortening.
Create QR Codes for telephone, SMS, Maps, URL, MeCards and Raw data.
One size but generates a QR Code and a Datamarix Code simultaneously.
Select encoding mode, multiple colors and upload background graphic.
Generates small, medium, large and extra-large sizes.
QReate & Track
Includes iCalendar and vCard formats and an option for real-time reporting.
Lots of options here including color, batch printing with Avery label compatibility and send by email.
One size but choice of six colors.
PNG and JPG in standard sizes.
Stand alone Decoder and Encoder