Posts Tagged ‘QR Codes’

Will digital save print?

You would think that digital has started to slowly strangle print. But, digital could well be its saviour. This article explains why this might be the case.

QR codes and 2D Data Matrix come to the rescue of print | |


Keeping it simple is easy to say but difficult to do

Focus on the outcome

Focus on the outcome

Several years ago when working for one of the world’s largest software companies, I was having a conversation with a colleague whose background was software development but who was now in marketing. He was extolling the virtues of the latest version of the company’s software development tools.

It was interesting to a point, and I pointed out that I was probably not the best person to try and excite about the details because I was far more interested in what the tools did rather than how they did it. He was shocked at my attitude. I remember the look on his face. His expression looked as though I had just blasphemed. How could I work in that company and not be interested in the nuts and bolts of the ‘how’ of the software rather than the ‘what’ of the results of using the software?

The advertisements of the time for that product had a theme of moon landings and a line which went something like “Just imagine what could have been done in 1969 when getting those now famous Americans onto the moon if they had this product“.

The problem with that campaign was that most people who would be using the software were not trying to get astronauts to the moon. Most software developers wanted to do far more basic things in their daily work lives and do them slightly faster than previously possible. The launch of that version of the product was a flop and it took them another two to three years with the launch of a new version and more down to earth ambitions for the product to take off (if you’ll excuse the pun).

This story is commonplace in businesses which have technical products. Often, the technical people become wrapped up in splendid details and features but become detached from why their customers would benefit from them. That’s basic sales and marketing knowledge but it is surprising just how much it continues to happen.

Last night I ran a presentation at the Hull Digital networking event about 2-D codes which is a technology that enables people to scan a code on, say, a poster using their mobile phone which then might take them to a mobile web site, or which will dial a number for them, or send a text message.

This is all very well, but I focused on the opportunity that the technology represents rather than the technology itself in my presentation. 2-D codes happen to be good at connecting offline marketing (e.g. an ad in a magazine) to online resources (e.g. a mobile web site). But the opportunity which is more interesting is, for example, that of enabling two different companies with different specialisations in marketing to work together in partnership to offer clients new solutions.

This is approach is far easier for people to comprehend than an approach which talks about features. I know you need people who are good at understanding the features of a product or service. I couldn’t do my job without a team of expert web developers who know how it works. But clients don’t care too much about the ins and outs of a product. They just want to know if you can help, what the outcome will look like and when you can do it by.

It’s simple to understand, but often people forget to do it and end up losing opportunities to help their clients and to gain new ones.

Why do you need 2-D codes

10fyz_qrThis week I am doing a short talk at the Hull Digital networking event about 2-D codes. Here is my slide set for you to download, comment upon and share. Click the link below to go to the page where you can download the slides. You will PowerPoint 2007 or the compatibility add-in if you have a previous version of Microsoft Office.

Why do I need 2-D codes? Free download

QR Codes Don’t Connect Offline to Online


2-D codes are far more important than you may think

QR Codes don’t connect offline media to online media. They are far bigger than that. 2-D codes, QR codes, Microsoft Tag, Nokia Point & Find are talked about in articles I read and articles I write in a very tactical way.

Where can you use them?‘, ‘How can you use them?‘, ‘What do they do?‘. These are all valid questions which people ask now while people become aware of them in the world excluding Japan, which has been using the technology for a while.

But something has always been missing when I think about how I could use them in the business I work in to generate revenue. By their nature, 2-D codes are simple to set up and pretty much free to use. The value our business would get from them is in developing mobile web sites for clients, of course. But, my business is a digital agency. We don’t do print.

But this morning, I had a meeting with a local creative agency I know through a business networking group. I was asking them for some quotes and feedback on some projects I am working on, when I started talking to them about 2-D codes. They had never heard of them. I explained what they were and that’s when it hit me.

The bigger picture for 2-D codes is the opportunity they represent to connect partners together to develop solutions for our clients. Not only do they connect offline media to online media. They connect service providers together too in new ways to provide new solutions and approaches to clients and their customers.

When you look at 2-D codes this way, you have the opportunity to expand beyond the limitations of your own business by working with other service providers. Suddenly, a potentially sceptical creative print company to our digital agency becomes a partner.

Of course, there is still some way to go before 2-D Codes become commonplace here in the UK, but working like this with them will make the technology more tangible for clients who increasingly want to reach their customers in ways which suit them and not ways which suit the company.

Twenty Uses for QR Codes and Tags for Marketing

Posted via email from

qr-codeMobile marketing has a less than solid reputation, unfortunately. It is viewed as a poor cousin to other forms of digital marketing and it is associated with downmarket products, fickle teenagers and annoying ringtones. The ‘Crazy Frog’ ringtone probably did more to damage the medium than any other product sold through mobile phones.

This is unfortunate because mobile phones are being used in different ways by people because the technology in them is increasingly sophisticated. GPS systems, high speed internet access, high resolution cameras and high storage capacity make them more useful for the people using them and, therefore, a good opportunity for marketers and advertisers to provide better services for them.

QR Codes, Microsoft Tag and Nokia ‘Point & Find’ are services which enable people to quickly connect to information such as mobile web sites, videos, MP3 files, text or telephone numbers.

To see how to use these technologies, download the guide above.

Will talking about eBay Desktop and QR Codes on BBC Radio Lincolnshire

QR Codes look like this, apart from the girl..     

QR Codes look like this, apart from the girl..

Here is a recent recording of Will on William Wright’s BBC Radio Lincolnshire drive time ‘techie’ slot talking rich Internet applications and the QR codes.

Rich Internet applications have been around for a while but they are becoming more prominent as companies start to realise the benefits that they offer to help their customers make better informed decisions about their products before buying them. 

QR codes are appearing more regularly on products such as drinks bottles and advertisements to encourage people to try their products or to enter competitions. You take a picture of the QR code using special software on your mobile which connects to the camera on your phone.  

Have a listen to this recording if you want to hear more about these technologies. If you have any questions, email me: