They can be found in newspapers, magazines, on billboards, in stores and have been making their way into just about any advertising campaign. QR Codes have been extremely popular in the Far East and over the past couple of years have been gaining ground in the West as well.
Originally designed by Denso in Japan to track auto parts as they moved at high speed through an assembly line the QR Code was a very efficient tool to instantly relay important information when scanned a deciphered by a QR Code reader.
If you don’t yet have a QR Code scanner on your mobile device, here is a list of free QR Code scanners.
Once upon a time people would cut a coupon out of a newspaper and save it till they got to the store. Then came the World Wide Web that allowed you to engage through your PC without actually having to visit the store. With the mobile revolution, people are no longer limited by time or space and can do just about anything right from the palm of their hand using a mobile phone
While non-interactive print advertisements are still effective, they are costly and offer no ability to customers to take action. The goal of a designed ad is to have a strong emotional effect on potential customers with a suggestive call to action and hope they will remember your brand the next time they shop. By adding a QR Code you can transform any offline ad into an instant online mobile interactive experience. Your Visual QR Code advertisement will not only give customers an incentive to engage, it will give them the ability to do so.
Read here for some great Visual QR Code campaign ideas.
While QR Codes are the most commonly used marketing tool used to lead users from offline to online they are not getting the attention companies were hoping for. Due to the QR Code’s meaningless computer code appearance, designers are often offended by the way it invades their creativity and people have a hard time relating to them let alone have a desire to interact and scan them.
Visualead has developed a patent pending technology called Visual QR Codes. This image recognition / QR Code love child merges any design, logo or image that people relate to, trust and love with QR Code scanning technology that people recognize.
The idea is simple, instead of asking people to engage with a computer code, companies can now allow their customers to engage with the brand.
“We are not looking to be another QR Code company” explains Nevo Alva, Visualead’s Co-founder and CEO. “We are looking to create the fastest and most effective solution for mobile marketing. We wanted to offer freedom of creativity and the ability to turn any design or part of one into a trigger for mobile engagement”.
There are three generations of Visual QR Codes. Two have been already been released and the third generation will be released over the next six months.
“The Big Three is what makes us unique” brags Itamar, Visualead’s co-founder and CTO
1. Can’t Touch This
There are numerous companies that create custom design QR Codes using graphic programs. The problem is, the more one “messes” with the computer code, the less reliable the QR Code becomes. Visual QR Codes on the other hand, uses an algorithm based technology to merge a QR Code into any design without the use of graphic altering programs. This preserves the reliability of the Visual QR Code with any of the QR Code scanners on the market.
2. Quick & Easy
While the majority of users are SMBs and designers, the Visualead site has been designed so that anyone can create a Visual QR Code in under a minute without any technical or graphic design knowledge.
3. Cost Effective
Creating a custom designed QR Code can cost anywhere from $60 – $200. Visual QR Codes can be created free and are not limited by the number of scans or time. Businesses looking for a white label solution as well as detailed analytics about who, when and where their Visual QR Code is being scanned, can choose between the Silver plan or really turn up the engagement with the Gold Visual QR Code to create a more creative, communicative and effective call to action.
When users ask the Visualead team for advice the answer is always: “Be creative and don’t be square”.
Ari Fuld (@arifuld) is a social media and content professional, and founder of the popular global mobile technology blog called Glomotech.com. He also is the Community and Content Manager at Visualead where they are redefining QR Code mobile engagement.