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How to convert impressions into interactions on mobile

September 9, 2010

Patrick Donnelly is CEO of QR Arts

Patrick Donnelly is CEO of QR Arts

By Patrick Donnelly

Forget everything you have heard about QR codes up to this point. The promise of QR can only begin to be realized by thinking of how they relate to both user experience and media integration.

Everyone knows QR codes can help you get from A to B.

However, the journey is part of a much bigger movement where mobile is converting impressions to interactions on a personal and a trackable level – which is rather remarkable.

Much of the media has been focusing only on A – the codes themselves.

But take a minute to think about all the possibilities of B.

Marketers now have the ability to align print and Web communications while using location-aware devices to deliver highly customized messaging on a new platform.

That’s a mouthful, isn’t it?

What it means is that you can finally create personalized experiences that allow individuals to act as brand ambassadors, consumers, connectors, fans and in almost any other role you can define – all from your customer’s hand.

Not only are 2D bar codes engaging guests with a brand, but a new era of “pull” marketing is emerging with the ability to again “push” content back into new social media channels.

One of the benefits of QR is the instant ubiquity of content on demand, which then can be distributed from your handheld computer.

A scan, no matter how “unnatural” the action is, takes two seconds, still faster than the fastest T9 texting champion typing in a URL.

I am not saying that it is perfect, or is always used appropriately, but imagine what you can do in a clickable world.

QR by itself is purely a tool or vessel – the information inside the code and how the information will be delivered and used by the user is the real value.

And the possibilities are endless.

If technology and culture can agree on some level of code format agnosticism, this tool can be used to create some amazing experiences for users.

The debates over code superiority, and which technology will be next is quite esoteric and focuses on the wrong part of this equation.

Now that we have this technology, the new frontier is the development of the user experiences, which brand managers have yet to design.

The code is an entry point for the consumer; there has to be content on the other side of the portal. Web sites tailored specifically to mobile viewing are the crucial focus.

The challenge is how mobile design and mobile Web will allow us to do more then just watch an ad or buy tickets.

The space between Web and print is a fascinating frontier as the tools continue to converge and evolve into meaningful interactions.

By scanning a QR code, a user accepts a relationship with a brand on a personal level.

So, how can you utilize QR and mobile content to create more meaningful interactions for your brand? Remember, the possibilities are endless.

Patrick Donnelly is CEO of QR Arts, Washington. Reach him at

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