QR (De)code
QR (De)code

QR codes look more like Rorschach ambiguous inkblots than a tool used for consumer advertising, but nowadays it’s hard to flip through a magazine or newspaper and not stumble across one. These marketing tools have been popping up everywhere, eagerly waiting to be scanned by a smart phone. Brands hav.....

QR codes look more like Rorschach ambiguous inkblots than a tool used for consumer advertising, but nowadays it’s hard to flip through a magazine or newspaper and not stumble across one. These marketing tools have been popping up everywhere, eagerly waiting to be scanned by a smart phone. Brands have been utilizing the technology to their benefit by providing consumers the chance to opt for more information, on their own terms.

“QR codes have a strange and mysterious appeal to them when used correctly.  As consumers, we want to be pulled into a world outside our own through a small portal. Let us gain access to secret events or offerings. Let us be rewarded for being cognizant of the technology and taking the time to invest in scanning that code. QR codes can connect brands and consumers in inimitable and transient ways,” Nick Eisner, Linux Systems Administrator and QR code marketing specialist, said.

1851 explores the fundamental pros and cons of the code.

Pro: Linking domains

A QR code stores a lot of information in a small amount of space, so linking a print campaign to the homepage of a brand’s website allows the reader to access even more vital information about a brand.

Con: No instruction

Not everybody is familiar with the process or the benefit of QR codes. Many consumers, while flipping through a magazine, just flip the page while unaware of what to do when presented with the code.

Pro: Versatility

Information is transferred quickly and a QR code can be placed anywhere within the public’s reach, directing consumers to a variety of portals such as a website’s home page, a social media site, YouTube video, etc.

Con: At the mercy of the smart phone holder

QR codes are only as effective as the consumer holding the smart phone allows them to be. Without the necessary tools to read the code, the code can’t be cracked.

Pro: Inexpensive

Want a QR code? Log onto a free QR code generator and boom, QR code.

Con – Misuse

Sometimes there’s a QR code but no call to action. Telling readers what waits for them on the other side, perhaps a coupon or other special offer, will give consumers prompt reason to scan away.

Pro: Measurable

Web analytics give marketers valuable information by tracking scans. It’s like a built in grading system for brand’s to see what works and what doesn’t.

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