QR Code stands for Quick Response Code and they are those square black and white boxes you may have seen recently on magazines and adverts. The simplest way of explaining it is like a barcode because like a barcode it encodes data within it. The
biggest difference between a barcode and a QR code is the amount of information they contain. A QR code has both horizontal and vertical planes in a grid of tiny squares which means you can fit a lot more data on it and you can embed information in the code itself.
When you read a QR code with the appropriate software it can trigger the opening of a website or it can download a file. QR codes are read with a mobile device. If you are using an iPhone you need to download one of the free QRReader apps available from the iPhone App Store. Most Android, BlackBerries and some of the newer Nokia handsets can read QR codes automatically. Windows Mobile users can download QuickMarks. With the appropriate software all you do is point your phone’s camera at the QR code to activate the contents. Although QR codes are relatively new in the UK, they’ve been around in Japan, where they were invented, for over a decade.
How do they work?
You need a QR Code Generator to create a QR code. Sounds complicated but it’s actually very simple. There are a number of sites for generating QR codes which are all free. A quick Internet search for QR code generator will give you a lot of choice. Most are pretty simple, such as www.qrstuff.com where you simply put in the date you want to put on the QR code, for example a website address, an SMS text message, email address or link to a file, and the QR code is created automatically for you to download.
What are they used for?
The potential for QR codes are endless. Today you can see them on magazines, adverts, brochures business cards, packaging, menus and even on the side of vehicles. Be targeted, don’t jus send them to your website, send them to the relevant information, even if you have to create a dedicated page for that special offer for example, add something of value to encourage more downloads.
Scan the QR code above with your smartphone to view the Old Hall at Christmas Mobile Website
With the growing use of mobile technology QR codes are going to be seen more and more. Get using them in your marketing mix.
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