11 Reasons Why QR Codes Aren’t Engaging Customers
The first panel I attended at South By Southwest was called, “11 Reasons Why QR Codes Aren't Engaging Their Customers.” David Wachs of CellIt was the presenter. He made a good case stating that QR Codes actually do suck and I agreed. Here's what he said:
11. QR Codes make accessing simple content very difficult
Why? App didn’t work, code didn't scan, didn’t have an app downloaded, took too long to open, etc.
10. QR Codes stop mobile phones from being mobile
Users have to stop moving, find the app, open the app, scan the code – defeats the purpose of mobile phones.
9. QR Codes remove brand recognition/association
When a customer takes the time to type or text a brand name they are reinforcing your brand. QR codes have no branding and if done incorrectly, people don’t even know where the code is taking them.
8. QR Codes like strong track-ability back to the end user
QR Codes are just fancy URLs. The data gives you the same information as a website hit, it doesn’t tell you anything about the person who is scanning it.
7. QR Codes lack follow up
Without the phone number, it’s impossible to easily follow up with a user. If a QR Code requested a phone number or email or had it been initiated through a text message, the brand could send a message at a later date.
6. QR Codes can’t go viral
Codes are just a location check-in point and you can only interact with them while you are standing in front of them.
5. QR Codes only work on smart phones with cameras
Yes, people still have flip phones.
4. QR Codes take up space
They provide no brand recognition and take up good advertising and graphic design space. Make the most of QR Codes by putting a graphic image with them to make them interesting and engaging – or don’t use them at all and just put your URL on your signage.
3. You can’t use QR codes in TV or radio
Obviously in radio you can’t use a QR Code, but on TV it’s difficult and impractical. The code needs to be on the screen for quite some time for the user to scan it.
2. There is no standard for 2D bar codes
Other formats for 2D bar codes exist outside of the PDF 417 and these other formats cause confusion among users. They may have to download different apps to participate.
1. People don’t know what QR codes are
People don’t know or understand the purpose of using QR Codes. If someone doesn’t work in mobile marketing, PR or technology they normally don’t know why they would take the time to scan a QR Code.
*David Wachs based his presentation on a blog post. You can see the blog post here:
Ellen Heydt is the Senior Project Manager at HJMT Public Relations
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hjmt.com.