Creative marketers find new uses for QR codes | ScrippsNews

At first glance, a QR code looks like some sort of abstract art. The black and white squiggly lines don’t look like the next big thing in marketing and advertising.

But suddenly the symbols seem to be everywhere — in store windows, on printed advertisements, business cards and Realtors’ signs outside homes for sale.

They’re easy to overlook. But those in the know are using and exploring this next generation of bar codes.

Short for “quick response codes,” QR codes are scanned with a smart-phone camera rather than at a cash register. The squiggles connect your phone immediately to additional information about the business — a website, a video or an interactive map, for instance.

Scan the code on a movie poster, and it may take you to the movie trailer. Scan a code at the Gap, and you’re taken to a website about Gap jeans.

For the record: QR date to the 1990s, but with the proliferation of smart phones, their use has exploded. As awareness spreads, businesses and marketers are racing to figure out how to use the codes to attract shoppers.

QR code usage is “growing very rapidly,” said Mike Wehrs, president of Scanbuy, a New York company and a leader in QR code development and management. “… It’s not something where you’d say people don’t know what’s going on. But it’s not 100 percent out there yet, either.”

Scanbuy’s data shows that QR code generation and usage has increased by 700 percent since January, with the number of scans in the United States increasing from 1,000 to 1,500 a day to 35,000 to 40,000 a day.

Best Buy has invested heavily in increasing the availability of QR codes. In May, the electronics retailer chain ran a QR code in a weekly sales flier that linked to a promotional trailer for the new Super Mario Galaxy 2 video game. It began adding the QR codes to product tags in August and is now seeing about 3,000 scans per day from stores.

via Creative marketers find new uses for QR codes | ScrippsNews.