What exactly are QR codes?

For my information management and social media class, I was tasked of writing about QR codes. I thought this would be a great way of incorporating it by placing a QR code on my paper and redirecting it to my blog.

QR Codes®

What is a QR code and who created it?

Denso is a global automotive company in Japan known for creating the QR code, “a two dimensional quick response matrix code that is able to hold up larger amounts of data in smaller space” (Denso, 2011). This code is similar to a barcode in a way that it holds information that can be interpreted by a computer with it being able to be read in any direction. It was introduced in 1994 and was first used for the automotive industry in Japan. Nowadays, it is also used in mobile marketing and advertising campaigns.

Who uses it? When and how is it used?

In this day and age, the QR code is used in many industries namely transportation, manufacturing, retailing, hospitality and others. Below are some companies who use this technology and how they use it. It should be noted that even civilians are able to generate this code using websites such as QR stuff or QR kaywa for their own purposes. They may be able to use it to link to their social media platforms, create messages and show contact information.

Transportation
Delta Airlines and United Airlines both use the QR codes for mobile boarding passes.

Hospitality
McDonald’s in Japan puts QR Codes on the side of burger boxes to embed nutritional information. Mirage Hotel and Casino uses QR Codes in their advertising on signage around Las Vegas. Consumers are led to a page where they receive $3 off admission to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat.

Retailing
Calvin Klein, Best Buy and BMW use QR Codes to push product info and specials.

How does it fail and what can one do to prevent it?

QR codes are failed to be used effectively when there is no built in tracking information, the information shown is not mobile friendly and there is no strong internet or WIFI reception in the vicinity of the QR code. It is important for companies to track how many codes are scanned in order to discover how effective their campaign is. Also, since most QR codes are scanned by mobiles, it is essential that all information presented are easily seen in these types of devices. Lastly, none of the consumers would be able to interact with the QR code if they cannot even receive it because there is no internet in the location so a strong internet signal is a must.

What are advantages and disadvantages of using this technology in the hospitality industry?

Advantages
• It can be read by a variety of devices.
• It is easier for guests to use this code for storing data such as reservations.
• It is easy to embed in printed material.

Disadvantages
• Should be assumed that not a lot of people know how it works and what it does.
• Would only be beneficial to people who have the devices and programs that can read the codes.

How can it be effectively used in hotels and restaurants?

Uses
• Incorporate social media platform links to QR codes.
• Use the code for confirming reservations.
• Create a code for information regarding the property like maps, amenities, contact information, etc.
• Have a fun marketing campaign wherein guests would be able to get discounts.

Does it add value to the company?

In essence, it does not hurt to offer this to consumers. For example, in the airline industry, it is handy to have the QR code as a boarding pass for it saves paper, always ready to be shown and makes the booking process easier with everything being able to be done on the phone. It also bridges offline and online marketing.

I did not include my references here because of formatting but please note that some of this information has been summarized and paraphrased.

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