The QR Code Industry

The QR Code Industry

The QR Code Industry Enjoys Robust Growth with Many Exciting Applications!

 

Several years ago, QR codes were an enigma to many in the marketing arena. While in their infancy stages, these were often referred to as marketing gimmicks – fly-by-night solutions to attracting increasing numbers of mobile customers. However, the QR code industry has continued to flourish with many enticing innovations taking root in recent times. For folks who are unaware of QR codes, they are simply computer generated black and white squares. But their real potential lies within the agglomeration of algorithmic code. QR codes are designed to be scanned by mobile smartphones. It is the information that they contain that makes them such an invaluable resource to customers and marketers alike. For example, personal information, video files, websites, directions, audio files and virtually all other combinations of multimedia content can be transferred by one quick scan. QR code applications are virtually limitless, with companies now using them in ways never before seen. For example, QR codes can be used to generate customer loyalty by way of VIP programs, exclusive discounts, reveal hidden gifts and rewards. They are increasingly being used as part of social media marketing campaigns for greater engagement.  The QR code industry is truly riding the tech wave as innovators think of novel ways to implement QR codes into their advertising campaigns.

 

Non black and white QR codes
Social media visual QR codes

 

Changing Patterns in the QR Codes Industry

 

Many formidable competitors pepper the QR codes industry. Those that continue to embrace innovation are flourishing while those who have failed to adapt are in decline. An increasing trend is innovating QR codes by making them more appealing and engaging by using them as part of a synergistic marketing-design effort. The traditional QR codes industry is hamstrung to a degree by the mundaneness inherent in their design. QR codes by their very nature tend to be unappealing, and, depending on their precise placement, they may not be very accessible either. The trick, as many of us in the industry see it, is to make these black and white squares more enticing.  Some folks have even likened QR codes to barcodes although they are very different.  The rapid growth of the mobile smartphone market is a potential gold mine waiting to be tapped. Figures place the number of mobile smartphone users at 5 billion. Greater mobility increases the need for effective QR code marketing.

 

A simple QR code
QR Code: “Scan Me!”
Customer: “But.. why?”

As the QR code industry has evolved, several things have become apparent. The first rule of marketing is the following: attractive sells. Thus, the solution is as clear as day. The tech gurus in the QR code industry are burning the candle at both ends to make these QR codes more ‘alluring’ by merging them into the familiar images, logos, graphics and marketing banners. The result is a more enticing QR code that is more likely to get scanned by passersby. These types of QR codes are popping up all over the place; a testament to the fact that they really work. But it’s more than just looking good that makes a QR code a winner. It’s the levels of interaction that QR codes can generate from customers. In this vein it’s imperative that QR codes add value to the customer experience.

 

QR code in a magazine

Global Success Stories with QR Codes

 

One of the most successful stories in the QR codes industry is Tesco in South Korea. This work-crazed nation is also one of the most technologically advanced in the world. Consumers in South Korea have so little leisure time that they typically have to queue for hours while grocery shopping. When Tesco entered South Korea, they were going up against the industry leader in the country. To compete, Tesco changed its name to Home Plus and had the notion of letting the store come to the people. This they did with virtual stores – with posters displaying Home Plus products – at subway stations, with QR codes. Shoppers scan the product QR codes and make their online purchases instantly. Such is the appeal of QR codes, that they are now being considered a highly cost-effective, user-friendly and rewarding marketing mechanism.  Many similar success stories abound with QR codes in countries around the world.

 

 

Interactive QR code
Gillete’s creative QR code campaign with Kate Upton

Going Mobile and Enjoying the Benefits of QR Codes

 

The mobile smartphone era is upon us and there appears to be no limit to the advancements and innovations that are possible. There are many practical applications possible with QR codes such as business vCards, social QR codes, instant rewards via QR codes and the full optimization of QR codes for mobile smartphones. At all times, it’s important that these QR codes engage people in such a way that the true power of their marketing message is enjoyed. Social media is the forum for spreading the message. Social media giants like Facebook have embraced the mobile market and QR Codes are a viable resource to allow marketers to tap even deeper into the smartphone arena. We’re always scanning for better deals, new ideas and rewarding opportunities. QR codes have many other practical applications for customers to enjoy. These include QR codes being included in menus so that patrons can see images or videos of their favourite meals being prepped.

 

Other practical applications include QR codes at Best Buy stores as part of their mobile apps marketing campaign.  Customers are able to read customer reviews of specific Best Buy products get instant specs, video demos of the products and access to an FAQ page. The applications of QR codes in marketing are simply astounding. For store owners, the QR code is able to extend shopping hours to 24/7. For example, QR codes in jewelry stores can easily be scanned from outside the store and customers can then “like” specific products and share them on their Facebook page, or G+ page. And it’s easy to add them to a shopping cart for purchase and delivery. Some popular brand names like Lacoste even make it possible for customers to scan QR codes and receive free mobile games for having scanned the code. These are in addition to discounted offers on select in-store items. QR codes are powerful pieces of algorithmic code that have incredible untapped potential!

Uriel Peled

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