2d barcode

Do QRCodes still have a future?

I read with interest Google’s recent discontinuation of QRCode within Google’s Places. It would seem that Google has ruled its verdict on QR codes: a failure. Does this mean that QRCodes have no future? After all QRCode has been around now for almost 10 years! This is not a new technology, but people are still struggling to find the right use for it.

I am a firm believer that QRCodes present a great opportunity for marketing purposes, it’s just that the desire to use and interact with a QRCode, on a mass scale has not been identified. Sure, there have been a lot of successes with QRCodes over the years, but within niche and relatively small groups.

As a consumer there needs to be a real desire to interact with a QRCode. Without that desire why would I purposely download an app in order to use them. The vast majority of QRCode still seem to encode a static URL, and that creates very little value in my opinion. It would take me less time to simply type into my browser and visit the company’s website, opposed to downloading an app, scanning the app and then being taken to the company’s website.

Personally, I think that the opportunity with advertising is stronger. Imagine me receiving my monthly tech magazine (which I subscribe to) and then within the pages are QRCodes alongside articles and advertisements. If I were then to scan a QRCode against the latest DELL laptop, lets say, I would be taken to a personalized microsite which welcomes me; knowing that I have visited that site only because of me scanning my personalized QRCode. It then either present more information about the product in question, or stores that as a ‘favorite’ and allows me to […]

By |March 31st, 2011|Personalised Communications, Social Media|1 Comment

QRCode Retail Poster Example

This is the first, in a series of posts showcasing various ideas and concepts for use in the real world by organisations. Hopefully as I get time, I will continue to post more.

As there is a growing buzz around the use of QRCodes I thought that I would create a real-world concept that could be used.  I do not claim that these concepts are original, but they will all be achievable using current technology and clients, although I am slightly biased to using XMPie to achieve them!

QRCodes, as we know are fantastic at bridging the offline and online world. Unfortunately many marketeers still seem to be stuck in a rut of using them to bring people to a generic landing page. This is just one use. Personally I like to explore the more interesting concepts of what can be achieved using QRCodes.

This concept is to take the humble advertising billboard or poster. Traditionally used to promote brands and offers. Well, what about creating relevant, location based brand awareness? I have used a well know retailer for this example, Next. What if Next had the following poster outside Picadilly Circus Underground Station in London? There’s a Next store just 15 minutes walk away – but you wouldn’t know that unless you had seeked out that knowledge previously.

Well what about a billboard or poster showing the brand as well as directing people to the nearest store? Passers-by could scan the code, and immediately be directed to Google Maps to show them the walking directions to the nearest store. Because we know the actually location of the advertisement, we can using the correct location.

The Google Maps API is easy used.


The start should be the starting location,
The end should be […]

By |February 2nd, 2011|Examples|2 Comments

Personalised QR Codes and other 2D Barcodes in XMPie

There’s a lot of chatter at the moment about 2D barcodes.

I’ve spoken to various creatives, service providers and marketers about this technology over the past few months; admittedly because XMPie now supports the technology directly inside uDirect. Whilst they all seem excited about the prospect of this technology very few that I can see are actually using it creatively or at all. There’s a very useful site at http://2d-code.co.uk which covers alot of the technology, as well as many of the examples of where 2D barcodes have been used.

Now that XMPie supports the use of PDF417, AztecCode, DataMatrix, MaxiCode, MicroPDF and QRCodes directly within the uDirect InDesign CS plugin it is easy to insert personalised data into a 2D barcode and place it on a printed piece. This obviously means that any data (from a datasource) can be used to create a 2D barcode. Want to create a 2D barcode that contains someone’s RURL or personalised URL so you negate the need to have them type it in? What about embedded personalised information about a recipient within a voucher code, presented as a 2D barcode?

It’s not an insignificant?fact that XMPie’s approach to QR Code is easy. XMPie’s ADOR technology means that any data and logic contained within the data can be used repeatable and?consistently within the campaign and QR Codes.

One of the biggest factors holding back the adoption of this technology is the support for barcode readers already installed on the mobile devices – so the initial campaigns need to provide enough of an incentive to get people to spend the time and install one. However with most smart phones and camera-enabled phones capable of supporting QR-Code capture this is rapidly becoming a non-issue.

Hopefully those creatives […]

By |December 17th, 2010|XMPie|8 Comments

Bulk creation of 2D Barcodes (QR Code, DataMatrix) in XMPie

For several versions now the XMPie’s suite of desktop tools for creating highly personalised and relevant documents has been able to support numerous variants of 1 and 2 dimensional barcodes. Code128, Code39, Codabar, EAN8, EAN13, INT2of5, MSI, OneCode, PostNet, UPCA, UPCE, PDF417, AztecCode, DataMatrix, MaxiCode, MicroPDF and QRCode to be precise!

From directly inside InDesign CS3 and CS4 XMPie’s uDirect plugin has the ability of generating and placing a barcode within the design. I blogged about this a while ago. However this is limited to using those barcodes within the printed piece. I was thinking about how you could use them online, or in an email communication, or even creating them on-mass to use in another process.

Most people seem to be content in creating single QRCodes that are then used. But what about if you want a QRCode to contain a personalised URL, or a unique piece of information linked to that the recipient?

Well, here’s one idea to create barcodes on mass by using XMPie:

Fire up InDesign with the XMPie plugin activated. (you can always get the 30-day free trial from www.xmpie.com)
Create a new document of say 50mm by 50mm
Connect to your database of recipients, or simple create a Counter and use that
Create a new image ‘Content Object’, call it QRCode, and set the expression to use the fields of your choosing.
Place the QRCode content object on the page and change the Dynamic Graphic Properties to ‘Fill proportionally and Centered’
Save the document
Select ‘Dynamic Print’ in the XMPie Palette and choose, JPG (or PDF) as the output format.
Select your output destination and records, and hit ‘OK’
Job done. You should have individual JPG/PDF files in the output destination folder named {filename}_r{record number}_p001.jpg

The only real drawback here is […]

By |February 5th, 2010|XMPie|12 Comments

Is Microsoft trying to reinvent the QR-Code technology?

I am a great fan of QR-Codes; and wish that more publishers would adopt the technology and implement these snazzy snippets of interactive information within their advertising and media campaigns. I recently posted an article talking about how XMPie was now supporting the creation of QR-Codes; and other 2D barcodes from directly inside uDirect.

Recently I heard about Microsoft Tag, Microsoft’s own 2D Barcode technology. At first sight it would seem that Microsoft has simply reinvented the wheel and created another style of 2D Barcode; however looking closely things seem slightly different.

For starters a Microsoft tag actually uses less space to encode a single byte of information; using different coloured triangles opposed to black/white squares.

Secondly it produces smaller sized codes as you can see below:

What’s more interesting is that Microsoft Tags do not actually encode the data (URL or other text) inside the mark. What they actually do is contain a unique reference which needs to be decoded my a Microsoft Server; which in turn points to the actual URL or reference point.

Using a server in this way effectively allows you to track the usage of a code within the field – by analysing the server you can see how many people have used the mark etc.

So in essence Microsoft have not reinvented the wheel; this is a new technology.

But wait; hold the boat one second. Microsoft Tags are unique effectively because they allow a managed and traceable service. However refer back to my original posting and you will see that my using standard QR-Code and a Cross Media Marketing tool; such as XMPie PersonalEffect you can easily create personalised QR-Code, that contain a unique URL (personalised or response URL).

Thus you can create unique codes, and […]

By |February 25th, 2009|Personalised Communications, XMPie|0 Comments