Monday, August 15, 2011

Cracking the QR Codes

What are QR (quick response) codes?
You've probably noticed the sudden proliferation of QR (quick response) codes--those squiggly square bar-code-ish symbols that, when scanned by a smartphone, links the user to a specific webpage. I've seen them on store signage, giant outdoor banners, e-mail signatures, even Facebook profile pics. And yes, on magazine covers and ads, too. See Esquire's cover here:

Why magazines use QR codes for marketing
QR codes offer yet another marketing technique and a way to track response rates. For publishers, this means you can launch new promotions of your own or offer your advertisers another tracking mechanism for their print campaigns. A common application for advertisers is to use a QR code to link potential customers to a coupon to try their product. Or, a QR code can take existing customers to additional resources for a product for added value. Basically, QR codes can be a great way of interacting with readers from the printed page to the online world.

Share your QR code experience!
Have any of you tried a QR code? (I know that some of you have, so don't play shy here!) Share with us what your promotion was/is and what kind of response it received. Or are you a scanner of these codes? What moves you to scan one? I was keen to scan a code for a restaurant I wanted to try. Too bad my phone is circa 1982...

More information on QR codesFor more info about how QR codes can work with magazines, have a boo at Martin Seto's Masthead Gadget blog article. (And no, despite his rumour-spreading, he's neither my dad nor my husband. Ha!)

--- Colleen Seto
AMPA Blogger-in-Residence