Full disclosure: I am not a fan of QR codes. I have been a tech geek my whole life and I can’t remember if I’ve ever whipped out my phone to see the mystery behind the black and white squiggly lines. With that being said here are some of the mistakes brands are making using QR code marketing.
1. Your content has no value – Scanning a QR code can be a bit painstaking for a consumer. It takes time and effort to scan the code so offer a free drink, a giveaway, anything except a link to your facebook page or website. Even worse, the majority of those websites are not even optimized for mobile. It is an easy way to annoy your customers.
2. What’s a QR Code? – Good question. My Mom and Dad don’t know and my siblings couldn’t care less. Archrival, a youth marketing agency, surveyed over 500 college students and found that 75 percent of them said they are “not likely” to scan a QR code. Most people do not know what a QR code is and that you need a third party app to scan it. When they try to scan it with their camera phones and it fails they give up and won’t be trying again.
3. Placement – Seriously people. Why are there QR Codes on everything? Is there any thought involved at all? I have seen them on billboards that are 30ft. up, on Subway platforms across the tracks and on a race car. Is this smart marketing or a waste of valuable space? Side note: I never get mobile service on a subway so even if I could reach and scan the QR code I have no internet connection to check it out.
However, there is still a place for QR Codes when they are implemented in a clever, engaging and fun way. So if you go out and slap a QR code on your product or ad please make sure you don’t make one of those crucial mistakes. Reward your customers for going the extra mile and QR Code responsibly.
For fun check out my five favorite QR Code Fails.