Top 14 Things Marketers Need to Know About QR Codes

Posted on May 11, 2011

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Besides the list below, QR Codes can be customized. Here’s one I created in seconds in Photoshop.

This is a very comprehensive list by: Angie Schottmuller

1. A QR Code is a 2D Barcode

QR codes are an encoded barcode image resembling a square-like maze. Unlike a 1-dimensional UPC code, a 2-dimensional barcode stores data in both directions and can be scanned vertically or horizontally to be decoded.

2. 2D Barcodes Can Store a Variety of Data

A traditional 1D barcode (UPC/EAN) stores up to 30 numbers, while a 2D barcode (QR) can store up to 7,089 numbers. The additional storage capacity accommodates a variety of data beyond numbers:

  • Text
  • Hyperlink
  • Telephone number (Phone call)
  • SMS/MMS message
  • Email (Send message)
  • Contact entry (vCard or meCard)
  • Calendar entry (vCalendar)

Storing a hyperlink presents a myriad of possibilities beyond just loading a web page — play a video, download a mobile app, check-in on Foursquare, update a Twitter status, “Like” a Facebook page, display map directions, and more.

3. Read/Decode a 2D Barcode by Scanning it With a Smartphone

(A 2D barcode reader app is required to decode the encoded data.)

4. 2D Barcodes Can be Placed in and on Nearly Any Location

Once the barcode image is created, it can be printed on nearly any surface and location — newspapers, TV ads, billboards, temporary tattoos, product packaging, clothing labels, cake frosting, and more. This enables you to drive traffic, interaction, and conversion fromanywhere. 2D barcodes excel at bringing non-digital media to life.

Note: Use caution placing barcodes online. They should always enhance the user experience. If a user could click a hyperlink, don’t make them scan a code to complete the same task.

Bear in mind the location must be easily scannable. Plastic frames and packaging can reflect light. Lighting can cast shadows, and hillsides and subways can kill Wi-Fi access. Consider all contextual factors that could impact the scanning experience.

5. Mobile Barcode Scanning is on the Rise

QR codes can be used for nearly any function (logistics, advertising, customer service, etc.) for B2B and B2C across a variety of industries:

6. QR Isn’t the Only Type of 2D Barcode

The most popular 2D barcode formats are QR codeDataMatrixScanLife EZcode, and Microsoft Tag (Tag).

There are several key differences in these code formats. ScanLife EZcode and Microsoft Tag are proprietary formats only decodable by their tools, while QR and DataMatrix formats are open standard. (Additional format differences can be addressed in another blog post.)

Google Trends analysis of these 2D barcodes shows “QR code” dominates by far from a search popularity perspective. QR has become a common term used to reference a 2D barcode (2D code, mobile tag, mobile barcode, etc.) even when codes are technically a different format. Even @MicrosoftTag uses the #QRcodehashtag on Twitter.

more…

Top 14 Things Marketers Need to Know About QR Codes.

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