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Are You Using the Code?

Scanning Code


In case you haven’t noticed, QR Codes are everywhere. They are on a wide variety of printed products from Starbucks cups and Sun-Maid raisin boxes to National Football League direct mailers and McDonald’s Happy Meals. They are in magazine advertisements, on real estate signs, and on transit posters. They have become ubiquitous because they work.


QR Codes are part of a category called “proximity-based, action-oriented marketing solutions” that includes similar technologies such as near-field communications (NFC), augmented reality (AR), and other 2D mobile barcodes. According to forecasts from Smith’s Point Analytics, this market is set to reach $2.3 billion by 2016.

What’s driving this growth? Convenience. When you’re standing in the electronics aisle and want to decide between two different models of digital camera, would you rather go into your phone’s browser, type in “customer reviews for XYZ camera,” then sift through the results? Or simply scan a QR Code on the product packaging that says, “View customer reviews!”

If you receive a postcard advertising the newest model of your favorite luxury sedan, would you rather walk over to your desktop, type in the automaker’s URL, and do a manual search for more information? Or scan a QR Code that takes you to a page providing a virtual tour of the latest features and offering to set up a test drive through your local dealer?

QR Codes are powerful tools for print advertising, as well. Say you’re viewing a print ad for a clothier and want to check color or sizing options on an outfit. Would you rather go online, search the catalog, and try to find the same outfit you’ve been looking at? Or scan a QR Code that takes you right to the color and sizing options for that specific outfit automatically?

QR Codes are all about immediacy and convenience. How could they be put to use for you?