Designed as a high-tech marketing resource, QR (quick response) codes have many useful applications. These (usually) black-and-white algorithmic codes are gateways to a potential multimedia nirvana. When used correctly, QR codes are marketing marvels.
In the world of QR codes, however, the sublime often coexists alongside the ridiculous.
Improper Ways to Use QR Codes for Marketing
Perhaps the relative novelty of QR codes has some companies a little confused about which best-practices to adopt. Subway—the international sandwich maker—created shirts with massive codes on the back of the T-shirts. The question arises: When are those QRs going to be scanned, considering that we communicate face to face?
Often, companies are so excited about using QR codes as part of their marketing campaigns that they forget the basic rules of the game.
These codes were designed expressly to simplify the marketing message, not to complicate it. Convoluted marketing messages detract from the effectiveness of using the QR code in the first place. Rambling lists of instructions and bullet points to get your message across are a definite no-go. Simplicity and appeal trump instruction-laden advertisements.
Companies that don't understand the true marketing potential of this resource run the risk of losing out on its potential for getting their messages across to customers. Many marketing departments are loath to embrace this technology and hope that it will simply go away.
QR codes are here to stay, and the sooner their untapped potential is understood, the better for everyone.