5 Common QR Code Blunders. Make It Consumer Friendly & Worthy - Social Media Pearls

5 Common QR Code Blunders. Make It Consumer Friendly & Worthy

qr code blundersWhy have I decided to talk about QR code blunders?

Well, I was riding the subway train recently and saw a QR Code (Quick Response Code) on the highest point on the wall. I tried to scan it and realized I looked like a drunken sailor waving aimlessly in a moving cart. Why on earth would you put it in such a location?! Really. A definite QR code blunder!

I cannot speak to other parts of the globe such as Asia where QR codes have been in existence for some time, but in the western world, I think the marketing strategies and value to the customer have not always  been thought through. I use to scan them out of curiosity but have now stopped putting myself in a ridiculous stance until I know there is something of value to scan for. There… value is the operative word. I have seen a number of blunders where work is required by the potential customer only to find the effort was not worth the destination. My experience so far include:

1. Education.  I am aware of what a QR code is, however, the average consumer does not. Some believe that  only certain phones can scan and are not aware that you can get an app to scan them. Furthermore many do not know what they are and believe them to be decorative posts. Hence the blunder. So to improve this as a marketing tactic,  there needs to be more consumer education to improve the awareness and the desired action.

2. Status.  I often see a QR Code in the same spot on a wall. As a result, I am not sure if it is the old one or if it has been updated. Therefore, you are not always sure whether to scan and more importantly why I would want to scan it in the first place. It does not always indicate “ why” you should scan. Is it for more information? Is there a prize? What? Again, addressing this would increase its use. 

3. Poor Location. One of the biggest blunders. I really do not think much thought is put on the practical location of these codes. I have seen many on the main entrance to a store. Well these doors are constantly opening and closing, You have to be very determined to scan this.  Again, as I described above, I have also seen it high up on a subway train.  Trains are shaky and secondly you need to be really tall to scan it properly. In the example below, you would have to squat and scan on a curvature while battling pedestrians.

qr code blunders

Quite frankly, you would have to be rather athletic and nimble to scan any of these. The reality is, you would ultimately give up on all of the above, especially if you don’t know why you are scanning in the first place.

4. Mobile unfriendly destination. When you do finally scan them you are often taken to sites that are not mobile friendly which just makes me scratch my head. I usually just give up trying to read the site.

5. Value. Well if you get through points 1-4 and you just end up at an uniformative website and nothing else, you are left with being totally frustrated. I could have just typed the url to get to the website. Really.  Where is the value in this for the  potential customer? Marketing can be so much more creative and innovative with what they do with QR codes. What about integrating it with an augmented reality app or video. Providng some level of experience for the visitor that makes them want to come back or do something. 

I think QR codes have lots of potential but we need to stop using it as a novelty item and use it as a real tactic in a marketing strategy that is visitor and mobile friendly.

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