This is the ‘Matrix’ reloaded for business and mobile business in particular. When it first appeared on the scene some years ago I was really excited about the possibility of what a QR code could offer. This enthusiasm was not shared by colleagues and clients alike at the time. We are somehow not early adopters, we like to follow. Now that the big boys are using them it has finally started to gather momentum and enjoy favour by those same sceptics of years gone by.
So what is a QR code?
According to Wikipedia, a QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) first designed for the automotive industry in Japan; a barcode is an optically machine-readable label that is attached to an item and that records information related to that item.
So how do I use them in my business?
I am not kidding when I say you are limited by your imagination her. It could be something as simple as details on a business card that can be scanned into contacts, it can be set up to send a pre-configured SMS when scanned, it can open up a web page on a Smartphone when scanned. It can connect a user to a Wi-Fi in a restaurant and even be used to order replacement products. You think of it a QR code can probably do it.
So how do I generate/create a QR Code?
This has become big business already and companies are charging serious money for especially customised QR codes. Yip, you can brand your QR it does not have to be the standard thing. A certain percentage of the code can be ‘hidden’ and still work, but there are free applications to help you not only create these codes, but to also track them, to see who is using them etc. Let’s be perfectly honest here. If you have ever connected to the internet, used a phone to send a message, make a call or connect to something online there is a massive fingerprint of you already sitting in servers. The only way to have online privacy is to get off the grid totally. No network, No internet, no email, no phone, not texting, no BBM, no nothing. Once we have got over ourselves we can get on with doing business…
Azon Mobile (www.azonmobile.com) has one of the best free versions of QR generation and tracking that I have seen so far and it even offers a lot of customization as well. A great place to start and if you like how it works at anytime you can really get more professional and fully customized QR codes in place.
If you do not embrace QR codes and try to remain ‘traditional’ those embracing mobile technologies are going to race ahead of you. It is n o longer the future it is here and happening and growing at a fast rate. Most people simple have a link to their website – yawn! Come people, use your imagination, build in a call to action, and use it to send information, collect information it should be an opportunity to market and sell and offer service with each scan. You can print QR Codes onto anything: Billboards, T-shirts, bars of chocolates, sides of buildings, business cards, menus, well anything with a flat surface. No reason why people watching a movie cannot scan a bar code as part of an advert shown up on the big screen. There truly are no limits. Make sure you start using them today!