QR Codes are showing up just about everywhere. Businesses looking to engage and interact with anyone who owns a smartphone have been plastering QR Codes on just about anything they can. Unfortunately, incorrect use of the QR Code has damaged both the QR Code’ s reputation as well as the reputation of businesses that use them.
Let’s clarify one thing right off the bat, QR Codes are very effective. They were designed to link and lead people from offline to online and as long as they are used correctly they will never fail.
Four of the most common misconceptions when it comes to QR Codes.
1. QR Codes Will Increase Engagement And Traffic
There are over five billion mobile subscribers worldwide and everyone will scan your QR Code. All you have to do is place a QR Code on any ad and it will turn your business into a mobile success by the time you wake up tomorrow morning.
OK, so as much as you would like to believe a QR Code is some kind of miracle worker, it just doesn’t work that way.
Expecting the QR Code to pull a rabbit out of a hat and instantly boost your mobile engagement is the root of all evil when it comes to QR Code mistakes.
In the best case scenario, placing a meaningless QR Code on an ad will receive no attention. However, if people actually stop their day to scan your QR Code and are lead to a destination that offers no value, not only has the QR Code not helped your brand, it actually damaged it.
The QR Code is a marketing tool, a means to an end and like any other marketing tool it is important to plan and think ahead.
For tips on Creating an effective QR Code campaign read here
2. QR Codes Are Meaningless Black And White Computer Codes
QR Codes were originally designed to be read by computers and machines, and their black and white code design was suffice. Once companies started using QR Codes as a mobile marketing tool, the black and white meaningless design acted more like a thorn in an ad design than an invitation to interact.
While it used to be true that a QR Code needed to preserve its black and white lines and dots in order to be “scannable”, (not a real word, but it should be) a new technology called Visual QR Codes allows for any design, image or logo itself to be given QR Code scanning capabilities.
For more visual QR Code examples visit Visualead’s QR Code gallery here
3. All QR Codes Do Is Lead People To A Company Website
This is perhaps the most painful misconception from a customer’s point of view. Someone stops their day to scan a QR Code and engage and are left frustrated and disappointed when they are lead to nothing more than a company website. Unless a user is looking for something specific on your site, a QR Code should be the beginning point of engagement, not the end. The QR Code instantly leads anyone who scans it to any destination you define, so be creative.
Here are some destination options when creating a Visual QR Code.
4. QR Codes Are A Thing Of The Past
First there was the threat of AR, then came the NFC scare which was put to rest when Apple ‘forgot’ to add NFC capabilities to the iPhone 5.
Technology is always advancing and I am sure that sometime in the future all these technologies will be replaced by something that has yet to be discovered. Currently, QR Codes are the most common way to lead users and potential customers from an offline ad to an online, interactive mobile experience. QR Code use and scanning numbers have been rising sharply since they were introduced as a mobile marketing tool and I would suggest waiting till QR Code numbers show any sign of decreasing before eulogizing them.
What QR Code mistakes or misconceptions would you add?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below or connect on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook where we are always listening. In addition, to design your own visual QR Code and give any design the power of a QR, click here.