2D codes are popping up all over the place in marketing, entertainment, art and business. While the technology has been widespread in more “tech-nations” like Japan many question whether the use of 2D codes in the US makes sense for businesses or if the codes will find their place in the American market.
3GVision, the makers of one of the most popular 2D code reading apps i-nigma, released their app usage report for the last quarter of 2010 and reported that the US ranked number one, and that US usage had quadrupled over the last year. Of course the increase in the number of smartphones in the American market has made the spread of 2D readers possible, and the number of smartphone owners is only going up.
So what’s the point and why should you care? HOW TO: Grow Your Sales and Revenue Using 2D Codes, a recent Mashable article, provides some great tips about using 2D codes to not just increase sales, but to add value to your brand for your users and customers and provide an opportunity to interact in less conventional ways. Analysts have said that in addition to using 2D codes to drive traffic to a website or making it easier for consumers to purchase your product, the codes also serve as a way to connect with a younger more tech savvy customer and can be used as a way to establish your company as a forward thinking enterprise.
This type of transmedia marketing tool not only adds a layer of interactivity to a brand or product, but also adds another layer to the world we live in. 2D codes give organizations from the Smithsonian to transportation authorities the ability to augment and embed information in our surroundings altering the way we perceive the world around us.
Do you agree that 2D codes are here to stay or are they just a fad? Should they be considered a real marketing tool or does their value stop at mere entertainment? Have you personally seen and used 2D codes?