Four Of The Biggest QR Code Misconceptions That Kill Your Campaign


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. 

QR Codes looked like this

Visual QR Code Gen1.

Visual QR Code. Yes, it scans.

Coming soon…





For more visual QR Code examples visit Visualead’s QR Code gallery 

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 TwitterGoogle+, 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.




Four Of The Biggest QR Code Misconceptions That Kill Your Campaign 5.00/5 (100.00%) 1 vote

6 Responses

  1. avatar Fred Gray

    April 2, 2013 5:58 pm

    I would like some help with QR code generation. I administer a Website ( and want QR codes to lead users to audio files of the sites they are standing in front of. For example, the QR code for the Pest House should lead the viewer with a Smart Phone to the audio file—house-110/

    then the user should be able to activate the voice file 203_Pest_house-1

  2. avatar Rupert Englander

    April 6, 2013 10:19 am

    I think it’s a little premature to write off NFC. NFC forecasts talk of penetration rates of 1 billion devices in market by 2015 and 2 billions by 2017. The fact that Apple didn’t implement NFC yet, and yet every other smartphone manufacturer is supporting the capability only goes to show the dissolving influence Apple has in the mobile space. People are beginning to realise that Apple doesn’t have to do something to mandate it.
    NFC is a LOT simpler for the consumer to use. No app to download or fire up. Just tap and away you go. However, I also accept the fact that there are scenarios that won’t work for NFC and that is why I don;t thin kit is necessarily black and white. They are and can be complementary technologies. Just like text back can be in a campaign.
    The important measure is whether a campaign owner can assess the uptake and interaction levels of their campaigns to understand user behaviour and ROI on their campaign.
    I think you do a great deal of beneficial work for QR to make them more attractive, but that doesn’t make them the be-all-end-end-all. Additionally your technology doesn’t seem to work with Windows integrated smartphone QR readers in the Windows 8 platform. It makes me think how many other readers can’t pick them up. And then where does that leave you? At least with NFC, if you know you have it you know it will work.

    • avatar Ari Fuld

      April 10, 2013 4:49 am

      Hi Fred,
      First of all, thank you for taking the time to reply.
      We would be happy to help you with a QR Code solution.
      Can you please contact us at and we will have someone offer a solution for your needs

    • avatar Ari Fuld

      April 10, 2013 5:08 am

      Hi Rupert,
      Thank you for taking the time to respond.
      I never wrote off NFC technology and I do think it will continue to make our lives easier in many ways.
      The post is a response to those who claim QR Codes will disappear or are already dead due to the introduction of NFC.
      I, like yourself, agree that QR Code and NFC technologies can and will compliment each other and neither have to be at risk.

      I am using 8 and my QR Scanner works fine but I find it funny that you dismissed the fact that Apple doesn’t have NFC and then used the claim that Windows phones supposedly don’t scan QR Codes to prove they aren’t reliable?

      You don’t have to wonder about the reliability of our Visual QR Codes as we have internal tests and checks that make sure our Visual QRs can be scanned with any standard QR Code reader.

      Ari Fuld


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