Are QR Codes Failing ?

QR code, also known as flash code, is a two-dimensional barcode that records information related to an item. It can be read by a QR scanner or a mobile device with a camera. QR codes can have many usages. Scanning a barcode could lead to the  downloading of an application, a link to more information about about a business, or even personal usage like the uploading of one’s resume.

QR Codes are everywhere, on articles, buses, websites, billboards… It is a true form of advertising.  It can be playful, luxurious, or even more dangerous. But it has not yet won its credibility in the eyes of the public. Millions of people are spending their time tweeting, pinning, checking but why not flashing?

An American blogger, Sean x Cummins surveyed 300 people on the streets of San Francisco, showing them the photo of the small square, and asking them if they knew what it was? Only 11% answered “QR code”. The others suggested anything and everything, from the korean military code to the aerial view of San Francisco

The results were similar when surveying New Yorkers. The Brooklyn Museum put a code on the back of its entrance tags that served as an introduction to what visitors might find behind QR codes throughout the building. Every visitor coming in the door gets one of these tags, but only 1.77% of visitors responded by scanning the code.

Although this mobile technology seems great and useful in providing additional content in numerous media channels, its popularity is lacking.

Here is why:  We may be in 2012,  but a large large number of people do not still know what QR codes represent. The reason for this lack of knowledge is the little to no communication on the technology itself.  Previous launches of barcode scanners proved unsuccessful. QR codes must regild to show their great potential.

The problem remains that QR codes do not really bring interest to get flashed. The proposed contents have to bring a real added value to the product or to the communication, send back towards a simple web page without interest and not optimized for mobile bring nothing. And why not directly integrate the reader of flash codes in the camera, as a native app? Now, you must download a third application on the market of your telephone, an application which will not be integrated into your camera.

QR codes are obviously a powerful tool of communication on which it will be necessary to count in the next years. For marketers, QR codes provide a relatively inexpensive way of reaching out to consumers while still maintaining complete control of the resulting interaction. With creativity, the possibilities are endless. It only needs a big advertising campaign to ground the movement. Place your bets now.

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