QR codes are 2D barcodes (two-dimensional barcodes) that can be quickly and easily read by most smartphones. It is best to think of first generation QR codes as containing a machine-readable font made up of black rectangles on a white surface.
QR is an acronym for Quick Response. Just snap the 2D barcode using a smartphone with a QR code reader app, and the smartphone quickly launches the appropriate application for handling the data. For example, if the QR code contains a URL, the phone will automatically launch a browser and take the phone user to the designated web site. QR codes can also contain contact information, a phone number, an SMS message, geographic coordinates, plain alpha-numeric text, and other types of formatted information. As the codes were initially created in Japan by a subsidiary of Toyota, QR codes may also contain Japanese and other Asian characters.
For publishers, advertisers, consumer packaged goods companies, and others, one of the main advantage of first generation QR codes is that the QR standard is widely available. Many companies offer QR code readers. For example, a QR reader is included with all phones using the Android operating system. AT&T offers its own QR code reader for selected devices that run on the AT&T network. Companies, such as Microsoft, are also providing next generation QR code readers (see Microsoft Tag).
On the negative side, QR codes that need to contain a lot of information, such as a URL with tracking data, the size of the QR code can become quite large. The size can impact the design of an advertisement or product package. There are also few QR code customization options and no single source that collects analytic data that marketers can use.
Nellymoser works extensively with QR codes and can work with you to develop an effective campaign using the QR code.