The online marketing evolution continues, and the next frontier is Mobile Marketing. These handy little QR Codes can be the bridge between the offline marketing and your online / digital marketing channels. They are great tools that are available for free, unless you want some of the fancy features.
Check out this great article for more how to’s and best practices for using 2D codes!
I recently spoke at SES New York on best practices for mobile marketing with QR codes. Here’s a follow-up crash course on tools, tactics, and best practices to confidently help you jumpstart a 2D barcode marketing campaign.
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:
Hyperlink Telephone number (Phone call) SMS/MMS message Email (Send message) Contact entry (vCard or meCard) Calendar entry (vCalendar)
Telephone number (Phone call)
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
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 from anywhere. 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.