QR Codes look cool, but really… how well do they work?

QR Codes were the latest, greatest thing to hit the Social Media / Online Marketing scene about a year ago.

But, do they really work?  Or are they already on their way out… a passing fad that will join the ranks of failed innovations such as the legendary Ford Edsel in the ’50’s.

As with all new social media innovations, QR codes were touted as the best thing since Facebook.  Some early adopters jumped right in and used them wherever they could to entice traffic to their websites, videos, social media pages and so on.

So what’s the deal with QR codes…?  Should you consider getting into them, or wait for the next best thing?

You have to admit, QR Codes look pretty cool.  But, in reality, they have some serious disadvantages – which make preclude them from top priority status as a marketing tool.

The key to successful marketing is simplicity for the end target.  QR Codes fail dismally in that department.  While they look cool and have some nifty applications, such as transferring the viewer to a video or web site on their mobile device, they presented too much of a barrier to entry.

First, you need to have a smart phone to access them.

Secondly, you have to download (after you’ve bought) an app to decipher them.

Third, you have to haul out the smart phone, activate the app, and scan the QR code before anything happens… if it happens.  My experiments proved that the QR codes and the scanner apps can be temperamental.

From the implementer’s point of view, QR codes require the software to generate them – and although this is relatively simple, in my experience, most small to medium size businesses are not going to want to spend the time to learn how.

It seems that QR codes are way too much work with way too little payoff.

Especially telling is the fact that Google, who initially embraced this technology, are now reversing their position and no longer offering QR code support in Google Places.  It seems they did some extensive testing. They mailed literally thousands of QR code stickers to businesses featured in Google Places.  The stickers were for use in the business window or in ads, websites and the like.

However, their findings were less than positive and at the end of March, Google announced it will no longer support QR codes in Google Places.

It seems ‘cool’ isn’t enough of a reason to overlook the technological challenges.

According to an article in The Next Web http://thenextweb.com/, Google is now considering NFC (Near Field Communication) which is an old technology with a new application similar to, but better than bluetooth.

Near Field Communication is based on electromagnetic induction principles investigated by Michael Faraday in 1831.  It looks as if apps making use of this technology will appear for iPhone 5 in the near future.

So, as far as whether QR Codes are concerned, our opinion has been, and remains that it’s really much ado about nothing and we’ll see this latest fad quietly fizzle over the next 12 months or so.

Vancouver lead generation
Vancouver social media consultant
Abbotsford lead generation
Abbotsford social media consultant

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