Work elsewhere – QR Codes

QR code article as appears in USQ News May 2012, p11

QR code article as appears in USQ News May 2012, p11

Have you seen barcodes that look like squashed flies sprouting up on advertising spots almost everywhere?

Welcome to QR Codes.  They are fast making their presence felt in billboard advertising and newspaper advertising.

The purpose of the QR Code is to drive additional traffic to websites, application downloads, newsletters and more.

The user downloads and application to their iPhone to be able to read the code (just search for ‘QR Code Reader’ in the App Store—there are plenty there for free).  To read the code, you have to open the app and you can enjoy the enhanced advertising experience.

For Android phone users, if your phone doesn’t have a reader on it, you need to visit the Google  Play store and search for ‘QR Droid’.

For most users, creating the codes is free.  You just go to a website like or and you can create one of your own.

From these sites, you can input data to direct people to things like, but not limited to:

  • Websites & social media
  • Mobile apps & iTunes
  • Contact details
  • Skype

There has been some discussions on the validity of QR codes, given they require many steps by the user to fulfil the objectives.  While this is the case, the code is free and used wisely, you can get more visitors to your website or app downloads etc for no cost.

As we see on the right, many companies, like Blockbuster and Suncorp Stadium have embraced the codes and have used them successfully.


More on QR Codes and mapping

My last couple of posts have been about opensource mapping and QR codes.

Lat weekend I went to the Rugby, and it came together nicely for me with these two pictures…

Map app for Suncorp Stadium

Promo poster at Blockbuster

I’ll start with the second one – the Blockbuster one, poster campaign, QR code.  Easy poster promotion, something Blockbuster does all the time.  This time they are trying to get people to get out their phones.

Cost – bugger all.  Just printing and distributing posters.  Out of the ordinary?  No.  Really a no cost solution to getting a few subscribers.

The first poster – the Suncorp Stadium one goes a little further.  It is paid advertising promoting their app.  Using the QR code allows them to easily draw people to their app.  If you’re gonna advertise, you may as well long-tail it.

And what does that app do?  It takes people to the loos, to the food, to their seats.  This can be done through opensource mapping, or by a graphic design team.  If you’re a little short on funds, the opensource is a great option.

QR Codes

The other day I saw a comment about QR Codes – you know those little squashed fly looking things that you scan with your smart phone and they go to a URL.

You know the ones, you see them in posters and ads.

Well I’ve seen websites and twitter postings dedicated to bagging them out.  One marketing person said that anything that involves 3 steps is useless.

I have a couple of issues with this.

1. The QR code is free – unless you pay for it but I can’t for the life me think why you would.  Even if you only get three people to your site or sign up to your newsletter or download your app, that is three people that you got for free.

Cause you wouldn’t be stupid enough to run an entire campaign based on a QR code would you?

A few weeks back I was talking to another promotions professional.  Lets call them Bob.  Bob spent $6k on an online marketing campaign.  Bob got a 0.02% click through rate.  Bob was thrilled, as normally he was expecting a 0.01% click through.  The ad company was also thrilled.

Needless to say that the campaign was a little dry but whatever.  That is $6k and a small click through rate.  Why not put a QR code on that.  Or a QR code on the print campaign that ran alongside it.  Even if you get a similar rate – like a 0.01% scan rate, you’ve virtually got a bonus click through.

What’s the problem.  If you don’t want to, like all marketing, if you don’t like it or don’t care, you will ignore it.  If you don’t you can offer so much more information.

Number 2 – Really 3 steps?  Are we now so lazy?