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QR Codes. What are they and how can they help me?

QR Codes are becoming more and more prevalent, poping up in magazines, newspapers, billboards, tv ads and any other surface marketing types can get their hands on.

So what on earth are they? Quick Response (QR) codes were first developed by Toyota almost 20 years ago as a way to track parts in their factories. They are essentially barcodes, but made up of a series of black squares against a white background.

They are scanned using a QR code scanner which is similar to a barcode scanner you see in a supermarket, but can be scanned quicker and easier as they can still be scanned if slightly damaged or on a slight angle unlike a barcode.

Marketeers have embraced the technology as a way to draw people into their digital realm and as a way to track the effectiveness of offline media. By installing a QR Code scanner on your smartphone, you can scan these codes by utilising the built in camera. The code gets decoded into a URL which directs you to the website or landing page of a particular campaign.

A major problem in direct marketing, is knowing how effective a magazine ad or any other offline media performs in terms of generating sales. By using a QR code, you can track the number of visitors that arrived from an offline campaign, much the same way as we can track online media such as a banner click.

There is also the convenience aspect for the customer. Rather than having to remember long-winded website addresses, they can just pull out their smartphone and scan the QR Code.

At DotPerformance, we've used them on business cards and flyers as a convenient way to draw traffic to a clients website, while getting visibility on the effectiveness of offline media.

We can see the value in tourism, to be able to provide visitors with tourist information in context with a site they are current at.

They could be in transport, so people can find out when the next bus is due or when the next train departs.

Bars and Venues can give you a list of what events are coming up, just by simply scanning their QR Code.

Estate agents could put QR codes on each for sale board so that I could be taken direct to that property's page on their (mobile optimised) website.

The more you think about it the more creative uses emerge. If you are interested in finding out how QR Codes can benefit your business, contact DotPerformance today to see how we can enhance your next marketing campaign with QR Codes.

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