Monday, September 27, 2010

Print Ads and QR Codes Combined with Mobile Scanning Software

Image 1
Brooks Brothers is using QR (quick response) codes in its fall collection print ads that let consumers purchase the items they see right from the pages of Esquire magazine.  The challenge is getting customers to download the scanning software to their smartphone the first time.  After the mobile scanning app is downloaded, the process should be very easy.

Let's discuss how QR codes work.  As you can see in Image 1, the QR code is prominently displayed on the left side of the ad.  Once people have downloaded the scanning software, nearly any smartphone can be used to quickly scan the QR code and immediately launch an internet browser that takes them to the associated landing page.

The value of the QR codes, after the initial download of the scanning software, is the immediate interaction with additional information, animation, video, audio, chat, etc.  You can be as creative as you want. 

QR codes can be configured to download an audio file so you can hear about the product.  The QR code can launch a website where the Brooks Brother's clothing products can be spun around and shown from many different angles.

The same technology is used in augmented reality solutions on smartphones.  You can scan a movie promotion sign and a website can be immediately launched with the movie preview and in-depth ratings, locations, schedules, etc.

QR codes, on printed material, are not just for simply and quickly connecting the reader to more information, but are also used to notify the advertiser where the reader saw the QR code.  Here are a couple of exampless:
  1. A movie promotion sign in a mall has a QR code.  The scanned code launches a website and notifies the advertiser that the QR code on a specific sign, in a specific location was scanned.  This data can help advertisers know the value of specific sign locations.
  2. A scanned QR code in a magazine can tell the advertiser exactly which magazine, which issue, which ad and on which page the QR code was located.
QR Code Example
The QR code provides value to both the scanner and the advertiser.  The person that scans gets immediate access to location specific information, and the advertiser gets specific data relevant to the ads effectiveness.

Now, if only the QR code scanning software was already included in the mobile operating system.  I am sure that is coming soon, as Apple and Google own many of these technologies.

Smartsoft Mobile Solutions has developed, with their large retail customers, smartphone solutions that enable in store barcode scanning allowing the customer to quickly access more in-depth information on products.

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Kevin Benedict, SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst
Phone +1 208-991-4410
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant, mobility analyst, writer and Web 2.0 marketing professional. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.