May 25

At Long Last: QR Code Responses “Surging” Thanks to Video

Quick: What’s the most powerful form of media to deliver through your Quick Response Codes? Everyone using an online QR code generator should know this, yet it’s only now penetrating the world of mobile marketing. So what’s the answer? Video! Video is the thing that seems to be the biggest contributor to a huge increase in QR responses. Just a few months ago, there were still some naysayers wondering if QR would ever have the great response rate we all knew could be possible — but now, it’s on its way.

The big news comes from QR platform firm Scanbuy, Inc. and was reported in BtoB Magazine. According to the report, scans of QR codes on “printed materials” — everything from billboards to magazines to fliers to road signs — is up. Way up: Scanning has seen an increase of more than 150% since this time last year. That can’t be attributed to the presence of more near field communication phones out there; that market has held steady, with market share between the major smartphones shifting rather than growing.

Instead, people simply seem to be more aware of near field communication companies’ efforts to reach them. If traffic trends are any indication, people are coming to realize that QR codes are fun and can be informative. They’re hunting for videos using QR the same way they might hunt for rich media experiences on YouTube or other sites. And like so many in the business, they might just like the idea of making the real world clickable.

Videos Aren’t the Only Thing Driving the Change …

Right now, videos are the biggest reason why QR is suddenly on everyone’s mind.

The reasons why?

1) Smartphone Ownership is About to Reach Critical: By 2015, the majority of people in America will own a smartphone, whether it happens to be a near field communication Android or iPhone. CNet reports that 65% of Americans will own a smart device in just three more years. Smartphones have arrived as a new part of the American consciousness and QR is the technology best positioned to make a big splash.

2) Data Plans Allow More Streaming Video: While some companies are running from their commitment to unlimited data plans, others are reassessing the market and realizing just how much people value bandwidth. Services like Netflix and even Amazon Prime are out there making feature films more available on mobile devices, so your promotional video or introduction is just a squirt in the bucket — not a month’s worth of data.

3) There’s More To It Than Just Video: Video offers all the advantages of the new media age. It’s fast, appealing, and colorful. But the Scanbuy research shows that video is not the only offering people are attracted to. There are several categories of content that get people scanning and clicking. These include app downloads, product info, prize programs and loyalty incentives. All in all, there are plenty of options.

This should be exciting news to any near field communication company or marketer. Not only are people becoming more and more attuned to QR codes, but they’re also showing that they’re open to a variety of interactive experiences. Your materials can serve as the gateway to those experiences and the first step on the path to a customer relationship.

May 18

Two Great Examples of Quick Response Codes for Savvy Consumers

Quick Response Codes are coming into their own around the world and it really shows. Online QR code generators and QR code readers are making it easier and easier to enjoy these windows to the web anywhere you go. Now, here’s a pair of quick case studies showing just how two very different locations are harnessing the power of near field communications technology to make their communities better.

Erie, Pennsylvania Steps Into The QR Age

Erie, Pennsylvania shoppers are about to see a whole lot more of Quick Response Codes thanks to a civic investment of more than $10,000 from The Downtown Partnership, a group of business owners who contributed the sum to empower local companies with QR technology. The bid to save local business and help small merchants compete with larger national and online chains is expected to lead to a major boost in consumer awareness of what the downtown Erie area has to offer.

With a slew of early adopters and a plan to have the entire Quick Response Code program up and running by the city’s major events in June, business owners are being encouraged to create introductory videos that potential customers will be able to see on promotional items throughout the event season. For many of the local entrepreneurs, this is the first foray into interactive media, and something that’s sure to position them to expand their online marketing efforts!

London Goes Live With QR Code Program to Support Recycling

Naturally, there are just as many near field communication phones in London as there are in New York or any other great city around the world. In growing efforts to become even more eco-friendly — partially spurred by the upcoming Summer Olympics in London — the city has now taken on a new tactic: Quick Response Codes that lead to a raffle where recyclers can win prizes. All recyclers have to do is scan the recycling bin.

Once they scan, the recyclers are automatically entered into a daily prize drawing. Every day, one person will receive a gift certificate valued at £20, about $32. These include vouchers for great locales like London’s famous High Street shops and West End theaters. The end result? City leaders are hoping that the project will reduce waste and save the city more than £1 million over the course of its run.

Although this is only a pilot project, if successful it could herald the beginning of even more QR code fun in the streets of London, especially considering the intensive work that goes on whenever a city is preparing for the Olympics. What else can QR help London achieve between now and then? Stay tuned to find out more.

May 11

Amazing New Collection Shows Quick Response Codes Used in Class

If you’re a Quick Response Code expert, using an online QR code generator and a near field communication phone to do outstanding things for your organization, then you already know QR codes have terrific potential. Although they used to be found only on consumer goods like sodas, popcorn bags and other sundry items, they’re now being used for more and more things. We’ve talked about a few of them here on the blog already.

For example, you can find them in parks and museums helping people get information. You can find them in cemeteries, providing custom memorials with full sound and visual messages from the deceased. You can find them all the time in law enforcement issues. They have now replaced the milk carton as a preferred way to make people aware of missing children. In Australia, they are even being used to prevent bike theft.

But arguably, the most compelling use of QR codes is in the classroom.

These days, almost every teenager has a near field communication Android or iPhone. So why not use them to make the classroom experience better? There’s been a little bit of attention to this in the past, but we can thank ZDNet blogger Charlie Osborne for the definitive (for now) post on the subject of educational Quick Response Codes: 50 QR Code Resources for the Classroom. These aren’t little blurbs, either, but meaty articles and resources on how the new mobile technology can enhance learning.

Which one is best? There’s a lot here, from fun to instructional. Some of the links lead to their own list of dozens of ways to work with QR codes in class, so the truth is that there might be hundreds of individual ideas in here. But if I had to choose one (or a few) I would say that QR Codes in the STEM Classroom is a great place to start. Besides the case study, it includes more than a dozen more links for science, technology, engineering and math instruction. This could be a way to help students connect.

For something else in a related vein, try QR Codes in Math Class. The author here has some great thoughts on activities to make math more interesting using technology. Since most students love their mobile technology, why not give them a hand in the skill set that they’ll need to be involved in the technology industry? It can’t hurt to inspire young people to take on the challenge of these difficult (but very rewarding) fields.

What’s the best way to use Quick Response Codes in the classroom? I’m sure there are as many answers as there are students, and maybe there is no “right” one. But these posts will give you hundreds of ways to ponder the question for your own students or the young people in your life. Go, QR codes!

May 04

QR Password Safety and Password Security Issues Heating Up

No matter which near field communication phone you use, one of the biggest slices of the near field communication company pie is and will remain Quick Response Codes. These codes kicked off the entire idea of NFC, and although there’ve been a few contenders, so far there’s nothing out there that’s going to push them off the top of the hill. In fact, consumer awareness of QR Codes is actually going up each and every time it’s tested, so the response rates for these ads are going up pretty fast, too!

This means the technology is about to be adopted, big time — but it also means that there’ll be more and more security challenges in the future. These go beyond ordinary password safety and password security issues: In a recent posting on CSO, the blog for senior security executives, David Braue outlined a couple of different ways that hackers could attack legitimate Quick Response Codes, especially by pasting a new code over the real ones that a marketer has already posted up!

What Should A Near Field Communication Company Do About Exploits?

If you’re new to Quick Response Code marketing, it might make you nervous to realize there are only a few things you can do to make sure that your QR Codes are never used for malicious purposes. But first things first: Hacker attacks on QR Codes still exist out there in the world of conjecture, not fact. There’s no evidence that hackers are taking a strong interest in QR Codes. But as they become more common, it will happen.

How to prepare now:

1) Check Up on Your QR Codes: Every time you put out a QR Code in a public area, you should know where it is. If a code is on a billboard, on a storefront, or anywhere else it can be accessed by the public, it could be at risk. But you’ll know your code is working correctly when you see “normal” traffic through it. If the traffic suddenly stops, check up to make sure that the code is still there and hasn’t been tampered with.

2) Make Distinctive QR Codes: Distinctive, branded QR Codes with special colors or other design features are far more likely to get attention, so you should be using them anyway. But what’s more, it’ll help people to know that they’re dealing with a legitimate link to your brand and not a counterfeit code. It’ll be much more difficult for a hacker to simulate a highly designed and colorful code than a plain one.

3) Participate in User Education: Seal the deal with your users by making sure that they start a relationship with you as soon as possible after they click your link. That means starting them off with a username and password or other kind of secure user account. Although you can’t change the tides, you can remind people about the basics of password security to help them navigate the online world a little better — and show that you care.

Apr 06

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