QR – Not a Drive-By Technology
There have been many new technologies come up over the last decade and a half. People tend to jump on the bandwagon often without knowing why and what they hope to gain. After allowing the new technology to fester on its own for a while, it is declared a failure. This is usually followed by a smug “I knew this stuff wouldn’t work.”
There are also those folks who don’t even try to use the new technology because they are afraid they’ll be in over their heads, or they don’t have the long-term vision to realize the potential
Sometime later (often years) eyes begin to open wide. People are dancing. Poets are writing sonnets. Hosts of angels begin to sing. The masses begin to realize what the early adopters grasped at the outset:
YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN
While QR technology has actually been in use for about 15 years, it has been mostly limited to logistics operations. These 2D codes could hold much more data than traditional bar codes so they were used to make certain processes run faster and with less error.
With the advent of Smart phones, the QR code is coming into its own. By using an app and your camera on the phone, you simply take a picture of the code and data is sent to the phone.
The first and most obvious use for this is to use a code that sends your company website URL to the user’s phone. This sounds fabulous. It is, in fact way cool.
The thing is this: So they link to your website on their phone. So what?
What will they find by going to your home page. Is your website so incredible that when prospects see it they suddenly realize that all their dreams are now within grasp?
I’m not trying to minimize the value of a website – nor am I assuming that your site is below par. The question I am asking is this: Is there any different information that you can provide smart phone users that will indeed make them say WOW!
QR codes can retrieve pretty much any information you care to send. They can call up documents, images, videos, telephone numbers (any kind of numbers) and on and on.
Just one quick example and then you need to put on your imagination caps. I am working with a client who owns a retail music store. Over the course of time, we’re putting QR stickers on all the music books that he sells. When scanned by the purchaser it provides him with an “If you like this, you might like….” list. So if someone buys a piece of sheet music by, Lady Gaga, for example, by scanning the QR, it will give him a list of all the LG music that the store carries. Can you say cross-selling?
So don’t be limited by the fact that most QR use is just designed to drive users to a website. The folks who use them on that basis alone will likely stop using them after while and smugly say “I knew this stuff wouldn’t work”.
Eventually the epiphanies will occur. For now though, you have the opportunity to be an early adopter and make this new technology really work for you.