In the days before Christmas I attended two separate events, one a performance of White Christmas at the Stanley Theatre, the other, a behind the scenes tour of the top-secret headquarters of Paladin Security.
So how are these events connected? For me, they are connected in what one organization is doing and what the other one is NOT doing.
When we arrived at the Stanley Theatre we had to line-up before getting into the theatre lobby. As I watched the people around me, I noticed that nearly everyone was pulling out their smartphone and reading from the screens. Of course there was also lots of conversation going on, but the common factor between most people was that they had a mobile device in their hand.
Then, as we were walking into the theatre, emblazoned on the ground was the unique pattern of a QR Code approximately one foot by one foot. As people walked over the QR Code, many paused, pointed their device at the floor, snapped a picture and then went on to read the info from the website that the QR Code had taken them to.
Unfortunately my mobile device had a dead battery (there is a long and sad story behind that dead battery) so I did not snap a picture of said QR Code.
However, once we were seated in the theatre I started flipping through the little book they give you as you take your seat.
The first thing I noticed? There was only one QR Code inside the book. One. Nearly all the advertisers who had placed ads in the theatre program had placed their web address and the fact that you could follow them on Facebook or Twitter in the program but only one of them had bothered to have their creative team add a QR Code.
What is the benefit of a QR Code? For an organization, it is a direct path from the page of a program to the organization’s web or Facebook page. It is a quick and easy way to get the consumers eyes onto your info and into their mobile device.
What does all this have to do with Paladin Security? Well, when I did my behind the scenes tour of Paladin HQ, I noticed that there were QR Codes all over the place. So I asked Leo Knight, the Chief Operations Officer, “what is up with the QR Codes on all this stuff?”
Knight told me that Paladin Security sees the QR Code as that easy way to get people information quickly and easily, especially in a stressful situation.
An example of this is when you come home from work, it is late, you are tired, the kids are screaming and you are trying balance all the junk you carry in your hands while trying to deactivate the alarm on your house. And then you enter the wrong code even as you open the door. The situation just got that extra bit stressful.
What do you do now? Well, you can drop everything and try to pull the card out of your wallet and read the instructions about what to do in that situation before the police or your nosy neighbours arrive. Or, you can do what Paladin Security is moving towards; pull out your phone, scan the QR Code and watch the 2 minute video that Paladin has created to help you deactivate the alarm in no time.
I love it. Creative. Forward thinking. Whatever you want to call it, I see it as helping people get the information they need or, if you are selling something, getting information about your product into the consumers’ eyes AND into the memory of their device so that they can come back to it later.
Interesting that Paladin Security has embraced the QR Code concept to help their clients get useful information and yet the people selling products to a relatively affluent market haven’t bothered with trying to get their information into their consumers’ electronic memories.