Technology integration in this industry is something we cannot speak too much about. With the help of other niche products and markets, we truly can help one another succeed in a major way. One example of such a niche is the integration of QR codes with digital signage technology. This post is meant to be simple and will cover the basics of the QR code technology and how it can provide benefit to the digital out-of-home world.
What are QR codes?
Simply put, a QR–or “quick response”–code is a matrix code or two-dimensional bar-code that is allows a user to snap a photograph and get information “quickly” using a mobile phone. The technology is more broadly used in Japan where users can use the code to be directed to a specific web page or simply receive information on a product or service. The highest QR code can hold up to 35 characters. The YouTube video below will give you a quick visual representation of how a QR code operates.
Specific Uses for QR Codes
QR codes are used in many digital signage applications which marry mobile phones with digital signage. For instance, a passerby might see an offer on a digital sign and wish to gain more information. Displaying a URL on the display is one way to get users to respond to a specific advertisement, but using a QR code is much more efficient and eliminates the possibly of memory loss or the requirement of the individual to remember the ad. They simply snap a photograph of the QR code and retrieve and save information immediately. The code could be linked to a website, promotion, or even an immediate coupon or special product offer given only to those who utilize the QR code.
Utilizing Quick Response Codes is one way to improve digital signage ROI and ROI measurement. It gives a way for a network manager to see who is actually responding to the advertisement and what the end result may be. While XX amount of persons may view the ad or use the code, only XX number of people may actually redeem a coupon or get something out of the deal. Determining response rates such as this is vital in the pilot phase and beyond in know whether your network was worth what you paid for it.
When and How to Use QR Codes Effectively
There are times when using QR codes, or using them incorrectly for that matter, can be ineffective and even detrimental to the end goal in mind. The first question is how do I place a QR code on the screen? This question must be answered practically, but with your advertising hat on. If the display is large and far from those who’ll be taking the picture of the code, then the code will most likely need to take up the entirety of the display. If, on the other hand, the digital sign is a smaller form-factor sized screen (under 100″) and is within touching distance of the consumer than something the size of a couple of quarters can suffice, given the rest of the display’s call to action points to the code.
Additionally, it will be important to integrate the QR code into the display in such a way that the display pushes individuals to redeem the code through taking a photo. QR codes would be entirely inappropriate in any scenario where the audience is not what we might call “captive.” Any locale where foot traffic of walkers, drivers, riders, or strollers make up the majority of the eyes who view the display is not the place for a QR code. Interestingly though the same locations could warrant the use of a QR code nicely. Like the high foot traffic at a retail location could still benefit from a QR code if the content on the digital sign. To be more specific, the QR code would have to be very obvious and the screens location would have to point not only directly to the specific product being advertised for, but the QR code would have to be readily visible and obvious as well. Even still, the response rate for such would still be relatively low.
The best instances of content that included QR codes would be when the audience is completely captive. This could include, but is not limited to many of the specific digital sign niches I’ve mentioned previously. Placing a QR code on the digital sign would, in nearly every instance have to be a judgment call of the operator, but it’s not like you’re out too much capital if you try out QR codes as a pilot for a time before delving into it generally. Perhaps is the missing marketing piece you may need to see what your network still may lack. However you wish to use QR codes in your marketing mix for digital signage, be sure you keep the content relevant and refreshed. There is no such thing as too little implementation of QR code technology, but there certainly is such a thing as QR Code Overload.