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Cracking the Code: How to Think about QR Codes

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Cracking the Code: How to Think about QR Codes

  1. 1. Cracking The Code: How To Think About QR<br />26 October 2010<br />
  2. 2. What we’ll cover:<br />Origins & Early Adoption<br />Evolution of Proprietary Codes<br />Considerations & Recommendations<br />What’s Next?<br />
  3. 3.
  4. 4. Origins & Early Adoption<br />
  5. 5. What are Quick Response Codes?<br />A QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode, readable by QR scanners or QR scanning apps available on Smartphones. The information encoded can be text, a URL or other data. QR Codes are one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes.<br />Sources: Wikipedia, Denso-Wave Corporation<br />
  6. 6. Origins of QR Codes<br />Created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994, the QR codes were first implemented as an order/product scanning system for automotive parts.<br />Benefits:<br /><ul><li>Gather large volumes of shipping data by one-touch operation.
  7. 7. Significantly reduce the cost of forms compared with conventional slips.</li></ul>Source: Denso-Wave Corporation<br />
  8. 8. How do they work?<br />QR Code<br />Bar Code<br />Contains data<br />Contains no data<br />Contains data<br />Contains data<br />Source: Denso-Wave Corporation<br />
  9. 9. How do they work?<br />Application* decodes data<br />Data instructs device to perform a task<br />Scans (takes pic) of code on mobile device<br />User encounters QR Code<br />Source: Graphic adapted from a Retina Funk blog post<br />
  10. 10. What exactly is encoded?<br />Source: “QR Codes Explained”, QRme.co.uk<br />
  11. 11. Early Adoption of QR Codes<br />(Insert “bowl of cherries” joke here.)<br />10<br />
  12. 12. Adoption of QR Codes grew first in Asia, then Europe, driven by quick-response programs created for consumer mobile devices without the benefit of a full QWERTY keypad.<br />11<br />
  13. 13. The QR code serves as a shortcut to typing a full URL or phone number. In this example, the code delivered a movie trailer and local show times to London commuters waiting for tube trains.<br />12<br />
  14. 14. It’s common for QR Codes to deliver richer marketing or product information, but some instead encode customer information. For example, Continental (pictured) and other airlines continue to experiment with QR Codes to expedite the on-boarding process.<br />
  15. 15. Calvin Klein recently tested QR Codes when the company replaced several “racy” outdoor ads with this giant code – to help distribute an uncensored version of the advertising.<br />14<br />
  16. 16. Adoption of QR Codes<br />To celebrate Internet Week 2010, the City of New York outfitted Times Square with a rotation of several large ads featuring QR Codes.<br />Inclusion of the codes catered to both the tech-savvy crowd visiting for Internet Week and the press who had more reason to talk about these ads because of the QR.<br />15<br />
  17. 17. QR Codes work best as one component of a larger program.<br />Nike’s True City program uses QR in conjunction with a mobile app, print, outdoor, and an evolving network of content curators to help fans learn more about select European cities, their culture, and, of course, where you can buy a new pair of Nikes.<br />16<br />
  18. 18. Google uses QR Codes to bridge online and offline worlds.The Favorite Place program helps businesses leverage the extended Google universe (Maps, Ratings, etc), but also many Android devices that can now read QR without any additional apps.<br />
  19. 19. Others strive to connect this life with the next…<br />In Japan, “machine-readable tombstones” use QR to let visitors view images of the deceased, browse the guestbook, even make an entry using a cell phone.<br />
  20. 20. Best Buyconnects shoppers with relevant information to inform their purchase decision. <br />In stores, QR codes link to product reviews, images and other information from the Best Buy mobile site. On circulars, QR codes link shoppers to full product inventory and related product accessories.<br />
  21. 21. Evolution of Proprietary Codes<br />
  22. 22. What are Proprietary Codes?<br />A Proprietary Code is another type of two-dimensional barcode. They are experiencing strong growth in the US but do not have the global reach of non-proprietary two-dimensional codes (e.g. QR codes).<br />They can reveal text, a URL or other data, though a Proprietary Code’s data is stored on a cloud-based server, not within the code.<br />Another distinction is that these codes are not scannable by a universal two-dimensional barcode reader. They either require their own proprietary reader or in some cases, can only be encoded via MMS or email. <br />
  23. 23. Why are brands adopting them in the US?<br /><ul><li>Some proprietary codes can extend reach to feature phones
  24. 24. Branding ability
  25. 25. Free or low cost to experiment
  26. 26. Follow-the-leader</li></li></ul><li>Challenges with Proprietary Codes<br />Communicating how to access content<br /><ul><li>Selecting the correct scanning app
  27. 27. E-Mail
  28. 28. MMS (for certain carriers)
  29. 29. Ongoing alerts come from a long code</li></ul>Feature phones – are they worth it?<br /><ul><li>Feature phone users are not acclimated to using mobile content
  30. 30. Cannot access data, so can really only engage via SMS</li></li></ul><li>Non-Proprietary<br />QR code<br />EZ code<br />Easier to Use<br />More Difficult to Use<br />Microsoft Tag<br />Jag Tag<br />Snap Tag<br />Proprietary<br />
  31. 31. Non-Proprietary<br />Decodes instantly / Requires Internet<br />QR code<br />EZ code<br />Easier to Use<br />More Difficult to Use<br />Decodes in the cloud / Does not require Internet<br />Microsoft Tag<br />Jag Tag<br />Snap Tag<br />Proprietary<br />
  32. 32. Considerations & Recommendations<br />
  33. 33. We don’t really need QR & 2D codes.<br />
  34. 34. <ul><li>They are too often “a solution looking for a problem” 1
  35. 35. Only 1% of US mobile phone owners have used a 2D bar code scanner in the past three months2 (Forrester)
  36. 36. More of our devices will be equipped to read them without additional software3, yet there is no standard format
  37. 37. The expectation that the technology will eventually4 hit mainstream prompts marketers to keep experimenting…</li></ul>Why?<br />Quoted from “mediadude” on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mediadude/status/1059525414<br />Source: “2D Barcodes: Why There’s No Urgency” by Julie A. Ask, Forrester Research, 21 September 2010<br />Many Android devices and some BlackBerry models are able to read QR Codes as a native function (not requiring additional applications) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code#Standalone_Applications<br />No one is really sure when.<br />
  38. 38. Criteria for Determining Use of QR Codes<br />Be honest: are we simplifying or complicating a user experience? If we’re complicating, why?<br />Is the intended audience likely to require education on how to use QR?<br />What is the overall experience? Does QR compete with or compliment another call-to-action?<br />Is the context right? Are the codes in places where they’ll be noticed? Is there adequate cell reception?<br />Is it an integrated part of a larger, coordinated effort – rather than an add-on?<br />Is the encoded content compelling, worth the effort of retrieving it?<br />If the intention is solely to gain “cool points”, why? Are everyone’s expectations set accordingly?<br />No crummy commercials.<br />
  39. 39. How could marketers use QR?<br /><ul><li>To increase convenience / access for existing and potential customers
  40. 40. Create a “shortcut” to deep-linked online content
  41. 41. For brand awareness / “cool points”
  42. 42. As a lead generation mechanism
  43. 43. To deliver “digital souvenirs” / exclusive, compelling branded content
  44. 44. To capture valuable feedback, and measure traditional media responses</li></li></ul><li>What’s Next?<br />
  45. 45. AR + QR + RFID + (XYZ) = Near-Field Communication<br />
  46. 46. Electronic ticketing for airlines, events and public transit<br />Mobile payments, couponing and m-commerce<br />Smart posters, objects and packaging<br />NFC<br />Print from your camera by holding it close to the printer<br />Simplified pairing of wireless devices<br />Share business cards with a touch<br />Electronic keys for cars, hotel rooms, home or office<br />Identity documents<br />
  47. 47. Thank you.<br />