Someone asked me today whether I think QR codes are a flash in the pan or whether they are the way marketers will communicate with consumers in the future. My response was that, while I have no idea what form QR codes will take one year, two years, five years from now, it doesn’t really matter.
Increasingly, marketers are going to be using cellphones as a primary contact point with consumers. That might be through QR codes, some other form of 2D barcode, or something else entirely. The uncertainty of what form that will ultimately take doesn’t matter. It doesn’t excuse printers from investigating QR codes today.
Here are four reasons why:
1. If you don’t use the technology yourself, you cannot sell it.
If you want to sell QR codes or incorporate QR codes into campaigns, you have to use QR codes. Using QR codes helps you understand them in a way that helps you sell them as a marketing tool, not just as a .png that you slap on a customer’s printed piece to make a few extra bucks.
2. By using the technology yourself, you gain credibility.
Right now, printers are trying to gain credibility in the area of marketing. Using the technology you want to sell is the starting point. If you don’t use the technology for your own business, why should marketers trust you to implement it for theirs?
3. Starting now is part of staying current.
Sure, technology changes all the time, but saying you’re going to wait to investigate QR codes until they take their “final” form is like saying you’re going to wait to upgrade your operating system until Microsoft stops issuing updates. That’s not the nature of a technology industry.
4. By getting involved now, you have a chance to influence the future.
Early adopters aren’t just users and sellers of technology. They are influencers, too. By participating in the early adoption of QR codes (if one can really call this early), you can actually influence how the market evolves by influencing how they are used. You are setting the trend, not playing catch-up.
So if you want to sell QR codes, the first step isn’t gathering up case studies and hitting the pavement. It’s downloading a reader and using QR codes yourself.