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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

• Activity by the day and hour-by-hour: curious when people are reading your marketing collateral or checking out your outdoor graphics? QR software programs generate charts helping you track when people are scanning your QR codes.

• Devices being used: because all phones read Web material differently, it is important to know what phone models are being used so you can optimize the viewing experience.

• Locations of people scanning your codes: track which billboards are generating the most leads and greatest return on investment (ROI).

• ROI: creating marketing campaigns requires an investment of time and money and QR software monitors how much it costs to deliver leads through these campaigns.

Successfully implementing
Once you make the decision to integrate QR codes into your mix of services, there are a few best practices to keep in mind.

First of all, keep it simple. Although QR codes can store quite a bit of information -- up to 7089 numbers, 4296 letter and numbers, or 2953 bytes (binary characters) -- it’s best to keep it short and simple. The longer the information, whether it be a URL or a short marketing pitch, the more complex the code, the harder it is for a smart phone to read. Shorten your URL for free at sites like A simple, clean QR code ensures customers will be able to snap a shot quickly and obtain an accurate read.

Second, clearly understand barcode differentiation. Understanding the various size and deterioration limitations for the QR code graphic is critical to effectively using this technology. QR codes may still be readable with up to 30-percent deterioration. This allows you to take a few liberties when it comes to the design, such as placing your logo in the middle or adding a “wrapper” around the code that fits with the overall creative theme of your printed material. There is software on the market that makes it extremely easy to generate QR codes independently or as an integrated part of the company’s end-to-end personalized marketing solutions. Branded QR Codes increase scan rates 25 to 30 percent, according to The Ace Group, the New York City-based print and electronic-marketing solutions provider (now part of DG3 North America).