QR Code Detective: Does your campaign feature a barcode or a question mark?

QR Code Detective Yardbird
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Campaigns using quick response codes are becoming increasingly clever, but consumers often aren’t told about them.

The potential of the QR code is limited only by the imagination of the people who implement them, but the fact remains that the barcode, itself, is little more than a black and white square to the human eye.

A human-friendly message of some form must always accompany a quick response code.

A few weeks ago, our investigators determined that a QR code is only useful if customers are informed that they should actually make the effort to scan. This week, they found that there are many ways in which businesses can provide mobile device users with the information that they need to understand the benefit that a scan can bring them. This means that the use of quick response codes isn’t exclusively a smartphone or tablet based focus. It also requires that marketers focus on both the technical and human side, so every campaign has two equally vital components.

Our investigators found a number of instances of promising QR code campaigns without adequate human-friendly info.

QR Code Detective Yardbird

The following very helpful QRcodes were seen by our investigators, this week, without an adequate human-friendly to allow the campaign to reach its full potential:

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Technology Quotes That Invite Thought - "We'd love to see a world where Venmo added support on the blockchain, then a Circle customer could pay a Venmo customer using their QR code or their blockchain address - and go between those instantly and for free." - Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle

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4 stars QR Code Detective – Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – To celebrate the opening of a new location of this restaurant in a Las Vegas hotel, a large sign was displayed on the wall with a barcode. Scanning directed a user to enter a sweepstakes. While this is a good campaign, there was no clear call to action. That said, once the barcode was scanned, it directed a user to a mobile optimized website that allowed a user to enter the contest.

4 stars QR Code Detective Enterprise Rent-A-Car – The investigators found a QRcode in a rental car. Scanning directed the user to a very helpful mobile site. The only problem was that there wasn’t enough human-friendly information to complement the barcode to encourage people to scan and benefit from the wonderful and helpful mobile friendly website. Our investigators feel that this campaign would be more effective if the rental car agent had explained the benefits of the site and that scanning the code would provide a direct link without having to enter the URL.

This type of issue is commonplace in mobile marketing. For instance, when visiting the Venetian Hotel, the investigators found that the massive complex made it very easy to get lost and only discovered two days into the stay that there was an incredible mapping app that pinpoints an individual’s location within the Hotel and Casino and provides directions to the intended destination. This would have been a very useful tool worth mentioning by the employee at the check-in desk.

It is becoming clear that companies are creating great QR code campaigns and mobile features, but have yet to push them in a way that will encourage mobile device users to benefit from them.

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