Stop Vomiting QR Codes at Me
Stop vomiting them on everything.
Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
QR codes can be seen everywhere, from freeway billboards, to TVs to T-shirts to business cards to soda cans. They are now beginning to appear on packaging and in magazines. The chart below shows where consumers report seeing QR codes.
They are quickly everywhere. The question is……
Do People Know How to Use QR Codes?
The short answer is “not really”. Only about 50% of the population has heard of a QR code (although based on the recent surge of them you would have to live in a cave not to have seen one).
Only 28% of the population has ever scanned a QR code.
Those who have scanned QR codes report very infrequent scanning, with 80% scanning something once a month. So, even if people are scanning QR codes, it may be more out of curiosity vs. a consistent consumer behavior.
Just Because You CAN Doesn’t Mean You SHOULD. Ask Yourself WHY.
Here is the thing. A QR code is just a simple way to access information. Rather than posting a web address, a QR code allows someone to scan a bar code with their phone as a way to call up information.
If you are using QR Codes, here are some tips not to suck at it
- Provide a clear value proposition of WHY someone should scan your code
- Provide an alternative for the majority of people who don’t scan
- Make sure that it is scanable (for example on TV they don’t scan, and some billboards are too big to scan)
- Use them in times/places where people have their phone
- Be sure that you are bringing them to relevant content that they would want on the go or at that moment
- Don’t use it instead of providing actual websites/information
Here are some Examples I’ve seen of Useful and Helpful QR Codes
- To provide more information at an open house
- On a for sale sign to get more information
- At a music festival to get a schedule
- At the zoo to get more info on the animals
- On a menu to see the dish being prepared
- Bestbuy included a QR code reader into their mobile app
- QR codes to create augmented reality opportunities
Here are some videos with cool QR code usage.