QR codes provide extra call to action

Quick Response (QR) codes are the latest development in the marketing world. And rightly so. Who wouldn’t want an extra call-to-action device on their advertising material and – even better – one which makes the most of mobile technology?

A quick way to take consumers direct to your mobile site, these smart little images – or two-dimensional barcodes – are the key to trackable marketing campaigns. With a large uptake in Japan and South Korea, QR codes effortlessly connect the offline and online worlds. They’ve quickly proven themselves more effective than URLs by creating a sense of excitement and anticipation about what is located beyond the code. (Not to mention negated the need to otherwise remember and correctly input a web address!)

The story goes that QR codes came about because of public transport’s captive audience. Seat backs, headliners and six-sheets all provide the perfect opportunity to get bored passengers reading, buying – and clicking. This new technology capitalises on these kinds of marketing opportunities that were previously being missed.

But the creative and/or strategic possibilities for brands and marketers are endless.

For example, on menus at hotel chain Radisson Edwardian, you can see your selected dish being prepared by the chef. A virtual Tesco store has even been created for smartphone users in a Korean underground, so while waiting for the train you can scan and add items to their shopping list. It seems the only limitation to QR codes and its uses is your creativity!

QR codes are a simple yet cost-effective way to engage with a mobile-savvy demographic. And with talk that the iPhone5 will have a pre-installed QR code reader, it’s a trend only in its infancy.