Recently, senior contributor Vivek Bhaskaran wrote about collecting feedback with operational context. He wrote about the benefit of understanding the current behavior of a respondent at the moment of their response (where they are, what they’re doing, and so on), and the added depth of understanding which that provides us as researchers when we interpret and analyze data.
I was thinking about this piece again today in context of another recent article – this one an Op-Ed over at Mashable written by Hamilton Chen, entitled, “Why QR Codes are Here to Stay.” Now, Mr. Chen – as the CEO of Paperlinks, a company specializing in QR codes – has an understandable bias here. His company as it exists today is based entirely on the success of QR codes. But in reading his Op-Ed, and thinking about it relative to Vivek’s article on contextual feedback, I realize that it’s not the QR code technology itself that’s important. It’s the idea of Real World Hyperlinking.
Mr. Chen spoke about this in his piece: how real world hyperlinking is on the rise (dramatically so), as the proliferation of smartphones skyrockets. QR codes are the most notable implementation of this concept, and whether they are really here to stay as we know them still very much remains to be seen in my opinion. (Personally, I’d like to see a lot more work done with NFC – near field communication – so I don’t have to take out my phone and start up my camera app every time I want to engage. They’re not mutually exclusive, but complimentary, I think.)
Regardless, QR codes today provide consumers with the opportunity to quickly engage in something of interest, while also providing marketers and researchers the opportunity to capture greater operational context in the process. Where was the consumer when they chose to engage? Which piece of collateral did they engage with? What were they doing at the time? All of this sort of information is invaluable when we measure the success of reaching out to an audience, and when we work to interpret their thoughts, opinions and behaviors.
I really want to hear from you on this. Are you using QR codes, Microsoft Tags, or other “real world hyperlinking” technology to engage new customers or respondents? What’s working well? What’s not? Or what’s keeping you from trying? Please join the conversation via comments, or via Twitter (@researchaccess).
PS – If you are working with QR codes, or plan to start soon, Mashable had a great piece recently offering 5 tips for successful QR code campaigns. Worth a look.