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Bringing 2D to Life

(May 2011) posted on Mon Mar 28, 2011

QR Codes add interactive elements to wide-format graphics.

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By Jason Pinto

When we look around at the worlds of marketing and communications, I’m sure we all agree: Things are changing fast, and the immediacy of the message is no longer just an option – it’s a requirement. People want their information, and they want it now.

Your clients are no different—they, too, are busily evaluating all channels of communication in an effort to reach their own most important audience: their customers. Yes, they’re looking at traditional media such as wide-format print applications, but they’re also considering other channels as well, including social media and mobile marketing, both of which are capable of responding to the consumers’ call for speed.

For print providers, then, a technology that would integrate these new marketing channels with traditional media would be ideal. Lucky for us, that technology is indeed available-- in the form of Quick Response (QR) codes, which can deliver your customer’s’ message, push customers to your client’s website, and enable your clients to track results, all with just the snap of a smart-phone camera.

Getting started: QR codes 101
For those unfamiliar with the technology, QR codes are 2-dimensional barcodes that have been around since 1994—widely used throughout Japan and in parts of Europe to direct customers to company websites using a smart phone. And with the increased adaption of smart mobile phones, QR codes are quickly rising in popularity in the United States.

Accessing the information that QR codes hold is simple. Some phones come with QR Code readers pre-installed. Others require you to download them. Most QR readers are free; popular options include Blackberry Reader, Neo Reader, QuickMark, IMatrix, and many more.

Once your mobile device contains a QR code reader, you simply point your phone to the code, snap a picture, and the software on your phone decodes the image. Instantly, you are directed to a website or landing page with information about the product or company of interest. They may also take you to a video or a social-media page that promotes your company, which opens the door to two-way communication. In short, QR codes make it easy for consumers to quickly jump from a printed graphic to the Web with the help of their mobile devices.