QR Codes- Is Anyone Even Scanning?

Photo by Adam Greenfield

QR codes are everywhere. They live on bus ads, they’re distributed on fliers, they’re tucked into newspapers, they’re even tattooed on people’s bodies. The QR hype is not shared by all, however. In fact, Forrester Research reports that only 5% of Americans actually use the application, most of which are young, affluent males.

So why the imbalance of hype between marketers and consumers? When one marketer posts a poorly strategized code, they ruin it for everyone. It takes a lot of work to gain that faith back. Marketers used to post URLs on their ads and no one seemed to complain, so why go through the trouble of scanning a barcode that directs consumers to that same URL? There’s also an issue with poorly placed QR codes, like the ones on the subway. No cell phone service? No code.

Maybe as the technology matures, effective QR codes will outnumber the one’s that miss the mark. The Home Depot places the tags on their products for additional information. Macy’s also did something similar with barcodes on their TV ads in which they provided informational videos from clothing designers. Unique content is key.

There could be hope for QR codes, though it’s debatable.

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