If you’re switched on to the Mobile world, you’ve probably seen (and possibly even used) a QR (Quick Response) Code. These weird looking symbols are probably going to change the way we deploy direct marketing and make it truly interactive!
Wikipedia describes QR Codes: “A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The “QR” is derived from “Quick Response”, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.” Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR Codes are now used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users (known as mobile tagging). QR Codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards or just about any object that users might need information about. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader software can scan the image of the QR Code causing the phone’s browser to launch and redirect to the programmed URL. This act of linking from physical world objects is known as a hardlink or physical world hyperlinks. Users can also generate and print their own QR Code for others to scan and use by visiting one of several free QR Code generating sites.
Below is a sample QR Code that points to “www.hotelemarketer.com”
QR Codes are already quite popular in offline advertising like print media, billboards, etc…with adoption fast growing beyond the younger, mobile savvy audience. A really wonderful example of using QR Codes to market a brand plus really engage the target audience is the C.A.O.S Living Book project by Editoras Online – watch the video below:
The potential for the hospitality industry is huge. From being able to put out more interactive advertising to QR Coded guest amenities, signs and giveaways the range of applications is quite diverse. A great use would be creating perpetual links to offers / promos that change in a timely manner – something that perhaps guests can take away and scan/use whenever the need arises. Of course, novelty is a key success factor at present… but perhaps given ample consumer education and adoption in the next couple of years, using Mobile Tagging will become the norm, rather than the exception. Throw into the mix other mobile extensions like augmented reality (see recent post on Augmented Reality Browsers), the mobile experience is bound to get even more useful and exciting. Can’t wait!