QR Codes: Bridging gaps between offline and online world

Thanks to real innovator who initially developed the QR code in for the digital universe. I am adding some of my thoughts and the process how and what we did with the QR codes, which possibly can help you for your marketing campaigns.

QR won’t make your marketing campaign a success in-a-flash! it would be a nice touch if you try to reach out to offline audience – you might just win them all.

To keep it short and simple for more historic information please visit this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code or Google the same for the new updates on this technology.

If you are looking QR code to be placed on the offline piece (Direct Mailer / physical brochure) then first thing you should have is the landing page. The landing page should be the one where you want your user/clients to reach and want them to consume the information.
If you have the above mentioned landing page, then it would be a very long url something like the following example
http://www.sitename.com/language/product/campaignname/landing-page 1.php (.asp/.aspx/.dom etc. ) or in some cases would be much longer than this if you have an omniture campaign tag setup for this.

You need to use a shorter url for your QR code. And you have it via bit.ly or tiny.url. While the former will also generate QR code directly when you shorten your url and will also come handy for tracking. Still if you need to create it go to http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ and select the url option to create it. (mind it! if you select txt – the data will only be readable, it won’t trigger it back to your site/landing page) – also there is http://zxing.appspot.com/generator (in which you can do more than just URL and SMS). Once done, test it thru your phone – if it’s working for you or not. If you follow correctly it will be working just fine as you want it.

If you won’t find it working – do check if you have the application to read these codes. Most of the smart phones do have such apps. If not, then you have to download it. Here are some QR/barcode reader apps that might be useful for those who don’t have it – these are also available on respective marketplace.

I-nigma reader, by 3GVision
Install via mobile browser: http://www.i-nigma.mobi or download to a computer and transfer it to your mobile device from http://www.i-nigma.com
NeoReader, by NeoMedia Technologies / Gavitec AG – mobile digit
Install via mobile browser: http://get.neoreader.com

UpCode reader, by UPC
Install via mobile browser: http://www.upcode.fi
or download to a computer and transfer it to your mobile device from http://www.upc.fi/en/upcode/instructions/download

Semacode reader, by Semacode
Install via mobile browser: http://semacode.org/ota
or download to a computer and transfer it to your mobile device from
semacode.org/software/

QuickMark reader
Download to a computer and transfer ir to your mobile device from
http://www.quickmark.com.tw/En/basic/index.asp
(NeoReader – works on iPhone and Nokia – For Android – QRdroid)

What Are Some Examples of How QR Codes Can Be Used?
There are numerous ways that QR Codes can be used to strategically bridge offline and online media. Here are but a few examples:
• A business card for professional consultant contains a QR code that links to a landing page with enthusiastic client testimonials, or a VCard (business card) to download contact info.
• A public awareness poster provides a QR code that links to a mobile website with a self-assessment quiz and links to community support resources.
• Advertisement of an e-commerce portal, offering there deals and products under the subway/metro station – so that people waiting, can actually use their time to shop the important items.
• A local business displays a QR code with a link to their Google Places page with customer reviews and coupons.
• A retail store displays a QR Code next to in-store products to view product demonstrations and reviews.
• An advertisement for a nonprofit organization includes a QR code that links to a volunteer and donation page.
• A restaurant includes a QR code on a takeout menu, which links to a mobile restaurant website for online reservations, orders and interactive directions.
• A home-repair product includes a link to a how-to video with installation instructions.
• A campaign sign for a political candidate contains a QR code that links to an audio file with a message from the candidate, or a mobile landing page with the candidate’s bio, campaign platform and opportunities to volunteer or contribute.
• A vendor at a conference places a QR code on their display booth so that attendees can conveniently scan and save the vendor’s information as they pass by.
• A realtor places a QR Code on For Sale sign in front of a residential property, which provides additional home specifications, interior photos and Google Maps location for later reference.
• A promotional poster for a movie contains a QR Code with a link to a video of the trailer and form to opt-in to notifications when the film is released.

For the good experience;
• One should know where to place the QR code
• Where to put those poster/advertisement containing the QR code
• Legibility of the QR code
• Alternatives to the QR code (success of the campaign does not work on the QR code and its implementation)
• Do test before going live

Hope this had helped you.
In case you find trouble setting it up or have any further question regarding this please feel free to write to pankaj[dot]kashyap[at]gmail[dot]com

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