Do You Know What This IS? by Gordon Sawyer
Some front edge marketers believe this little iBUGG has the potential of changing marketing communications as much - maybe more - than the original launch of internet search engines.
It is generally referred to in cyberland as the "QR Code," but in laymen's terminology, it is a bar code on steroids. Or a two-dimensional bar code. Or to be old-fashioned, a crossword puzzle rather than a line-o-type. The QR Code originated in Japan and has been around a while, but it is the explosion of smartphones, followed by a tsunami of Apps, that has created the technology link that has brought the QR Code (actually an App itself) front and center.
It was while working on the small business marketing program for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce that a discussion came up about the App explosion and the smartphone revolution - the iPhone and Android and the rest. So, Kit Dunlap challenged the small business marketing speaker, me, Gordon Sawyer, to get our local small businesses "ahead of the curve" in the new wave of mobile marketing strategy and communications.
From there Lance Compton challenged Nick Kastner, Lindsey Marshall and the team at Red Clay Interactive to select from the wealth of new technology now available - one thing that can give a small (or large) business an immediate jump on the competition, yet won't cost an arm and a leg. One answer was the QR Code.
The iBUGG shown above is the new QR Code for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. If you haven't already done so, go to your smartphone's app store, and download a QR Code reader app (it's free). Then aim your smartphone camera at this iBUGG , and bingo -- you are looking at the front page of the Chamber's website. How about that? A Chamber of Commerce leading its community into the new world of mobile marketing!
Or, how about a restaurant with its QR Code on the front door so passers by - walking or riding - can look at the menu. Or, include your QR Code on yard signs, or calling cards. Get creative. No longer is the smartphone just for stock market reports or game time football highlights. Now it can be an affordable marketing powerhouse for small business.
A recent edition of WIRED magazine, one of the major publications of the internet world, had a cover story proclaiming, "The Web is Dead, Long Live the Internet." It goes on to say, "Two decades after its inception, the World Wide Web has been eclipsed by Skype, Netflix, peer-to-peer, and a quarter million other Apps."
Of the 100,000 Apps now listed in The App Store, 80% are games. Among the remaining 20 %, one can find an encyclopedia of marketing tools. Many front-line marketers believe the QR Code, combined with the iPhone or Android, or other smartphones, may be the leader of the pack. Its public introduction in the North Georgia market came on October 12, 2010 at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Success Seminar.
How To Read QR Codes On Your Smartphone
1. Go to your smartphone app store and download a QR Code reader (application). It is free.
2. With the reader in place, use your smartphone to scan the QR Code (above left). Bingo... there is the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce website.
Gordon Sawyer is a retired Atlanta advertising agency owner/executive, an author, and a devoted student of the new digital marketing. He insists a whole new marketing communications era is just beginning.