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QR Code 101: Video ’10 Reasons Why Free Quick Response (QR) Codes Will Bite Me In The Tush’

March 7, 2011 – Atlanta, GA USA – If you are researching Quick Response (QR)* scan codes for your company, you probably have stumbled on free QR scan code generators on the web.

So, you may be asking yourself, why pay for QR codes when you can get them for free?

Using free scan codes may result in costly and embarrassing mistakes for you and your company. That’s why I wrote and produced this video: 10 Reasons Why Free QR Codes Will Bite Me In The Tush.

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Video: ’10 Reasons Why Free QR Codes Will Bite Me In The Tush’

  1. Dynamic Versus Static Scan Codes – with paid scan codes, you can change the URL after the scan code has been generated. For example, if you are promoting a television series, you may want to change the URL that the scan code points to for this week’s teaser video. With free scan codes (jargon alert: “non-managed” or “direct code generation”), the information is contained in the scan code rather than pointing to a dynamic look-up table in a database that can easily be updated with the appropriate URL.
  2. Early Production Deadlines – with paid scan codes, you can generate the code well before your content is ready. For example, if you have an early production deadline for a magazine ad, but the video you would like your scan code to point to will not be ready until after you need to provide your ad, then a paid scan code will make this – easier!
  3. Correction – with paid scan codes, if someone makes a mistake regarding the URL that the scan code points to, you can easily make the correction: with free codes that’s very hard to do unless you get a Ph.D. in engineering and scan codes and chocolate chip cookies for the IT guy to generate free codes using referring links). If you are already a rocket scientist in scan code generation, then you already know not to use free code generators because they will bite you in the tush.
  4. Analytics – with paid scan codes, you can get analytics, including: total scans; unique users; gender; income; age; handset operating system; and scan location (including interactive maps); to help you make decisions about the effectiveness of your print advertising, for example.
  5. Free Codes May Be Harder To Scan – free scan codes may be harder to scan because they often are “dense” compared to paid scan codes (See a “dense” QR code example). That’s because with free scan codes, the URL (or other information) is contained within the scan code rather than simply pointing to a dynamic look-up table in a database for the appropriate URL or other action. [For more on how to make a free code less dense, please see "point 8" in my That's GREAT! article, Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Integrating Two Dimensional (2D) Codes (QR • EZcode • Tag) In Your U.S. Marketing Plans (8/2/10)]
  6. Add Value – It’s essential to add value to the scanning engagement experience. With paid scan codes, you can change the URL after the scan code has been generated, which may be key to creating value for the scanning experience. You may not know what works best for you until after the scan code is in use. For example, if you using the scan code to point to a “how to assemble” this product video on YouTube and a better video is created, you can simply change the URL. (When you update a video on YouTube, it creates a new URL: you can’t use the previous video’s URL.) [For more on adding value with QR Codes, please see "point 1" in my That's GREAT! article, Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Integrating Two Dimensional (2D) Codes (QR • EZcode • Tag) In Your U.S. Marketing Plans (8/2/10)]
  7. Printing – Can you afford to toss large printing press runs because the scan code points to a URL that needs to be updated? When you use paid scan codes, you can (easily) update the URL for the scan code rather than re-printing brochures; catalogs; direct mail pieces; signage; or any other physical thing that contains your scan code such as t-shirts or cupcakes. For example, if you are a Realtor using a scan code on your Home For Sale signs, you’ll want to change the URL that the scan code points to rather than printing up new signs for each Home For Sale sign.
  8. Change – Stuff happens. With paid scan codes, you can easily deal with change. For example, if you are using scan codes for vCard contact info for a direct mail piece and the contact info changes after the mailing goes out, you can easily change the vCard info.
  9. Large Batch of Scan Codes – With paid scan code platforms, it’s easier to generate a large batch of scan codes.  If you need to create a large batch of scan codes with a free scan code generator, you – or your team – will likely be overwhelmed with the time-consuming code creation process. For example, while you may ultimately point to the same video, you may want to use different scan codes to know which magazine ads generated those scans.
  10. Scan Code Management – With a paid scan code platform, it’s easier to label and keep track of all your scan codes. That’s important for making sure the correct scan code is used and for running scan code usage reports. For example, you may want to use different scan codes for different magazine ads and run a report that compares unique scan code usage by magazine. If you mark, track and manage campaign collateral for lead generation, you’ll want to mark, track and manage your scan code campaigns too.
  11. Bonus: You’re A Hero – When you use a paid scan code platform, such as Scanbuy’s ScanLife Platform (GREAT! ScanLife Promo Code (“Invitation Code” = great), you will be a hero when senior management has requests that can only be accomplished with a paid scan code solution. GREAT! ScanLife Promo Code (“Invitation Code”) = great (for small, medium, large businesses and agency/resellers so you can play with a robust, paid scan code platform (For example, generate free QR codes to practice with; and generate usage reports for these scan codes). When you are ready to use the scan codes commercially, please request a quote from ScanLife or GREAT! CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dan Smigrod.

For most businesses, using free scan code generators will cost the business more: either eating the cost of re-printing, the inability to use the most effective value-added experience; or the staff time consumed using an inefficient free tool for volume business use. If you recommend a free scan code generator, you will go from hero to zero the first time senior managements wants to – or must – make a change that can only be done with a paid scan code platform.

Plus, if you are using free scan codes for your company, you are also likely to repeat the same costly and embarrassing mistakes already made by major U.S. brands using scan codes and major media companies using scan codes. In addition, if you are using free scan code generators, it’s likely that you will fail to follow scan code best practices that could help your marketing campaign to be as effective as possible.

Hero to Zero! Using free QR codes will bite you in the tush!

Special Thanks

Subscribe to the Free Daily Online Scan Code Newspaper From GREAT!

That’s GREAT! Quick Response (QR) Scan Code Resources

  1. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  101 Ideas for Using QR Codes
  2. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  101 ‘Pointers’ for Using QR Codes
  3. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  101 Major U.S. Brands Using QR Codes
  4. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  50 Major Media Companies Using QR Codes
  5. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Using QR Codes
  6. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Top 10 Best QR Codes Uses in the U.S
  7. That’s GREAT!QR Code 101:  (Video) ’10 Reasons Free QR Codes Will Bite Me In The Tush’
  8. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  (Video) What’s the Return on Investment (ROI) on QR Codes?
  9. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  (Video) – 2011 is the Year of the Quick Response Code
  10. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Multiple Choice:  (2010) (2011) (2012) is the Year of the QR Code
  11. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Top 300 Must Read QR Code Articles
  12. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Top 150 Must Read QR Code Articles
  13. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  How Newspapers Can Use QR Codes to Delay the Demise of Print
  14. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  QR Code Book : ‘I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works
  15. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Top 10 Reasons EZcodes Are Better Than QR Codes
  16. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Guest Post: The 10 Commandments for Marketers
  17. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Guest Post: How to Use QR Codes to Promote Your Business
  18. That’s GREAT!QR Code 101:  Guest Post: An Introduction to QR Codes
  19. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Product Camp Atlanta: 25 QR Code Ideas in 10 Minutes
  20. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Follow Dan Smigrod’s QR Twitter Account: uSCANme
  21. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Free Daily Online QR Code Newspaper (The uSCANme Daily)
  22. That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  All ‘That’s GREAT!’ QR Code Lists, Videos, Articles and Resources
  23. Bonus: GREAT! ScanLife Promo Code (“Invitation Code”) = great (for small, medium, large businesses and agency/resellers so you can play with a robust, paid scan code platform (For example: generate free QR codes to practice with and generate usage reports for these codes). When you are ready to use the scan codes commercially, please request a quote from ScanLife or email GREAT! CEO Dan Smigrod.

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Disclosures

*Though Quick Response (QR) brand scan codes are a registered trademark of Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave, Quick Response Code (QR) are commonly – and incorrectly – used generically to refer to all Two Dimensional (2D) mobile barcodes: including ScanLife EZcode brand scan codes; Microsoft Tag codes; datamatrix codes; and still other scan codes that are scanned or photographed on a smartphone such as an iPhone 4. Saying Quick Response code or QR code is like saying that you TIVOed the TV show when you actually used the Comcast brand digital video recorder to record the TV show.

19 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Dan Smigrod - March 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Categories: Entertainment Marketing, QR and EZcodes   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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