As even marketers with considerable experience and budgets struggle with the ideal use of the barcodes, so do smaller companies.
Although it is reaching the point that QR codes can be found virtually everywhere that there is marketing, from product packaging to flyers, and from billboards to brochures, companies – large and small – are still trying to discover exactly how to take advantage of what they have to offer.
The true potential of quick response barcodes still has yet to be reached, despite the fact that they are broadly used.
Consumers are scanning QR codes at a steadily increasing rate, but they aren’t always impressed with what they find when they arrive at their destination. At the same time, even marketers that are paying attention to some of the most recommended techniques for their use are struggling to achieve consistent results.
There is still a sizeable learning curve and QR codes cannot always stand on their own to be successful.
This can be challenging when they are being added to marketing materials where real estate is already very limited. It is difficult for marketers to make sure that interested consumers will know what to do when they see QR codes, let alone encourage them to scan.
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As common as QR codes may be, marketers are still finding that they must provide consumers with instructions for scanning if they wish to maximize the response from smartphone users. An example of this type of effort occurred at Conservation Chic, a wine and cheese fundraiser held at the heart of the area of Toronto holding the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). It was designed to appeal to filmgoers before and after viewing the feature, in order to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Small business, JBC Online writing services was one of the event sponsors and added QR codes to the marketing materials that it displayed on the promo table. In order to test responses, the company used two types of barcode presentation on its brochure. The first provided a brief explanation of what the barcode was and how to use it. The other did not. The only code, between the two, to receive scans during and after the event was the one that provided the reader with usage directions.
This indicates that consumers continue to require directions for using QR codes and that marketers may gain greater benefit from their campaigns if they take the extra step to provide them.