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What are QR codes? Do I need one?

Ever seen the ads in newspapers and magazines with the black and white pixelated looking dots in a box and wondered what is that? It’s called a QR code. QR Code stands for Quick Response Code and is the symbol for a type of matrix barcode which was initially designed for the automotive industry.

In recent months the use of these QR codes has evolved and become the cool, tech savvy way to share information. Consisting of small black square arranged in a square on a white background, these funky codes are a quick way of transmitting information from paper to your smart phone.  Of course you’ll need to download a QR code scanner app to your phone, but with the way technology is increasing, it won’t be long before smart phones come with QR code scanners already inbuilt. No need to go on the hunt for a pen, or painfully punching the details into your iPod or smartphone with one finger, all you need to do is open the QR code scanner and presto, the information contained in the code is now on your phone.


So how do you get a QR code? The details contained within a vCard or MeCard can be used in conjunction with a QR code generator.  You can link it straight to your website; provide special offers or messages to your smart phone customers. A restaurant might use one to highlight their special 2 for 1 meal deals or a hotel or motel might use it to offer special rates.  Keep the information to the bare necessities. The more complicated the QR code graphic, the more you increase the chances of it scanning incorrectly.
QR codes don’t appeal to everyone, it an evolving format which is slowly gaining popularity, but seems to appeal to male smart phone, iPad or iPod users aged from 18-35. Before you go crazy adding QR codes to all your advertising, get to know your target audience.

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