West Points

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

QR Codes: Trash or Treasure?

by Heather Gurewitz
Mendocino Women's Business Center Director

Recently, we had a workshop about marketing to people with mobile technology and in particular QR Codes. Since then, a number of people have been so kind as to share articles with me critiquing QR code technology and questioning their value. Are QR codes a passing fad or the new Facebook? Now, no one can tell the future, but here's my personal opinion on the future for QR Codes.

I will definitely admit that QR Codes are not perfect as is the case with any technology, but note that never stopped anyone from using Microsoft products. So, yes, I believe that the technology will change and mature, but this kind of mobile technology is the future of marketing and of great value to local businesses, and here's why:

Imagine two bowls, side by side on a shelf. One is priced $49.99 and the other $99.99. The bowls look the same, and based on price, the decision is easy right? The consumer flips the bowls over, the $49.99 bowl says "made in China" on the bottom and the other bowl has a signature of an artist. Well, maybe that starts to account for the price difference, but, in today's economy where people are concerned about spending, is it enough? Now, imagine the artist's bowl has a tag with a QR code, the consumer whips out their iphone/android and clicks on the QR code which takes them to a 1 minute youtube video that shows the creation of the bowl and the artist talking about the significance of the piece. In one FREE postage stamp sized square and a click, the consumer has made a direct audio visual connection with the artist and now understands the significance of the piece and the work that went into it. Suddenly the $49.99 bowl is a cheap knock-off made in China and there is no denying it.

Stay tuned for the next blog on how to effectively use a QR code. Did I mention that they are free and really easy to make?

To learn more about QR Codes, join us for "Marketing 2 Mobile" with Matt Brown in Ukiah on July 19th from 4:00-5:15.  Register here!

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