Qr codes are stupid

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QR codes - originally invented and widely used by Toyota have found their way into the hands of marketers. Marketers became excited over the possibility of pushing digital content through traditional mediums. However, many failed—miserably.

QR codes are stupid, and that's that. Read more articles like this at: http://www.nathansmoyer.com

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Qr codes are stupid

  1. 1. QR Codes Are Stupid Why scan when you can click?
  2. 2. Yup. I said it. QR Codes are stupid. Yes, they are stupid. There’s nothing great about QR Codes. However, the correct application or use of QR Codes is no business for dummies. QR Codes can definitely be used to enhance your marketing. These codes are useful for connecting with customers, capturing data, sharing exclusive content and increasing engagement. However, when the thought process of how and why will consumers use or be motivated to use QR Codes is not considered – then we’ve lost our way. Here are 5 ways in which QR codes should not be used:1. Placing cute, customized, and branded QR Codes into a TV commercial is plain mind boggling. The thought that anyone is going to sit and watch TV, waiting to capture/scan your QR Code is crazy talk. Please just give instructions of how to find your web content.2. Billboards along highways. Placing a QR Code in the corner of a billboard along the highway is the same as placing a number for drivers to text while driving on the billboard. FYI, in Maryland its just as illegal to scan a QR Code while driving as it is texting. Yes – its possible that passengers may want to scan the QR Code, but only unless that code is visible from a very far distance. Otherwise it still makes no sense. Billboards in cities or more dense areas (such as the Calvin Kline ad) can however have an impact.3. QR Codes on coasters at the bar are a great idea. It’s in a location where many people will look and its a real opportunity to connect with patrons. Its not a good idea however to send people to the same non-mobile website as you have listed on the coaster. What is the great benefit of scanning the QR Code over just typing
  3. 3. in the website that is also listed on your coaster? Why not offer something special or exclusive information like live updates or at least a mobile application. Please if you place a QR Code on a coaster offer something different than a website I can type in my phone.4. Using a QR Code as your profile picture. I’ll admit it – I once for a few days used a QR Code as a profile picture on Facebook. Then I looked at it one day and smacked myself. Why would I ever want to hold my phone up to the computer screen to scan a code? Doesn’t that just seem odd?5. Some marketing companies (credit to and shout out to Half.com) have used bathroom advertising to grab the attention of consumers. Half.com’s campaign using urinal screens to encourage consumers to stop pissing away money was an overwhelming success. However – placing a QR Code on a urinal screen (I don’t care what you offer me) is a no go. Consumers will not be placing their phone inches away from a urine covered object just to peep your latest full version website . . . sorry. There’s certainly other ways in which some marketers who are jumping on to the QR Code craze are abusing this fun tool. Have you seen a QR Code in an odd place? Are you a witness to QR Code abuse? Are you confused as to what if any benefit that can come from using a QR Code anywhere? Feel free to harass me on Twitter @NateSmoyer or post in the comments.

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