When it comes to small business, QR codes are often seen as a valuable marketing tool. Given the versatility of the codes, this notion is often correct, but there is another side to the coin that goes almost universally unacknowledged. Chris Smith of KeyRelevence, a prominent SEO and marketing firm based in Dallas, Texas, says that using the codes to boost business is a double edged sword. While awareness of the codes is certainly spreading throughout the nation, the majority of consumers are still unfamiliar with them.
Smith says that using the codes as an end-all solution in marketing could be harmful to businesses. As more companies opt to forgo traditional methods of marketing in favor of QR-driven campaigns, there is a growing weariness from consumers regarding this sudden shift. As the public continues to be inundated with QR codes, there is a risk that their appeal may wane.
Because QR codes are so inexpensive to produce, many business owners leap at the opportunity to adopt them. This often leads to problems, as businesses construct elaborate marketing campaigns centered around QR codes that don’t work as well as they should. Smith believes that most people believe that free codes mean that they are easy to implement in marketing. This notion has led to many failed campaigns, as companies ignore some of the most fundamental rules to QR code use – such as make sure the content linked to the code is mobile optimized.
Jennifer Van Grove, an associate editor at Mashable, believes that the codes can benefit small businesses if they know how to use them effectively. Van Groves says that codes that are linked to special offers, such as coupons or free giveaways, have been successful in the past, giving others an example of successful QR campaigns.