The two most popular posts I have written on this blog have been about QR codes. I wrote the first post around the time they first came out in 2010. Three years later, the general consensus is that they are useless. Of course, that has not stopped them from appearing everywhere.
As a 24-year-old young adult living life, I always feel disappointed when scanning a QR code. If I am sitting a restaurant and see a QR code, I scan it expecting a discount, not a link to their boring website. I always anticipate a QR code helping me in whatever I am doing at the time and am let down time and time again with general content.
However, as a marketer, I have seen their success. The demographic I currently market to is truck drivers, therefore, my challenge is the fact that they either a) are never home or b) their home is the truck. As more and more drivers use smartphones, I’ve started testing QR codes with success.
The key is placement and content. Our most successful QR codes have been on ¼ size flyers people can pick up and take with them. They also have a promise at the other end, such as a chance to win something or to download our app. The app is especially successful because a smartphone is necessary to scan a QR code as well as download and use the app. It’s a perfect combination. Just like using a mobile marketing tool to market to a mobile demographic.
QR codes will die if not used appropriately. Haven’t we been taught as marketers that every successful campaign should have a call to action? Just sticking a QR code on a magazine ad is worthless unless there is an explanation, a chance to win a prize, or something beyond just a link to their website. Reward customers for doing the work to scan your QR code and you will also see a reward. They key is placement, content and the right demographic.
What has been you experience with QR codes either as a consumer or marketer?