Thursday, June 09, 2011

Why Marketers Shouldn't Waste Their Time W/ #QR Codes #qrcode #qrchat

We've seen them everywhere -- bathroom walls, billboards and rub-on tattoos -- tossed like digital spaghetti against a wall in hopes that some of it will stick, or click, to an ad. Overuse of a new technique is nothing new. New technology tends to follow a predictable path from discovery, to overuse and disillusionment, and eventually, a proper or right level of use. But in the case of QR codes, that "right level" is likely to be fairly low and short-lived. Because it's the marketers, not the customers, who are so enamored with it.

Various talking heads have called this "The year of the QR code," and said that the codes will revolutionize the print industry. Does anyone remember the Cue Cat (photo)? It was a device that came out in the 1990s and readers were going to use it to scan bar codes in magazines, which would take them to innovative websites. Sound familiar?

QR codes have a big leg up on the bar codes that were read by the Cue Cat (photo). The technology to use them is already in most people's pockets. We would assume this type of access might play a major role in the QR code's success, but that's only part of the story. The rest of the picture shows why we shouldn't get too attached to the QR code.

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Reader Comment: Interesting take... but seems that your example is really more about bad QR implementation than QR itself. Like any marketing or technology implmentation... it's not just about doing it, it's about doing it right.

What if instead of that video, Calvin Klein had pushed a deal or coupon to you with a google map showing you the closest store where you could redeem... along with this would be a tab (in the microsite) that showed the latest fashions you could purchase along with prices.

I'm guessing that might have moved a few sales...

NFC is still a long way off... given the average cell phone contract is 2yrs... and currently only one phone in US has the chip -- we're likely 3-5 years away from any kind of NFC domination. Till then, QR is available today, inexpensive, so why wouldn't a smart marketer take advantage of it?


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