QR Codes Aren’t Sweet Without Strategy

From iMedia Connection:

qr codeQR codes represent a unique mix of technology and advertising that is steadily improving with evolving new forms and functions. But their functional improvement is meaningless if the platform is not applied with the right strategy and tactics in the real world in order to connect with consumers.

Most people within the marketing community are no strangers to seeing QR codes attached to advertisements and products these days. Even many tech-savvy consumers know how to create QR codes for promotion or information sharing, which is the beauty of their open platform design. Anyone can use them, read them, and get creative.

QR codes have created a new way for brands to engage their audience with products and services, and there are already quite a few examples of ways that “traditional” QR codes are getting pushed further, including the logo-friendly SnapTag. SnapTags are a gussied up version of the mobile interactive code options. Instead of the static-like appearance of QR codes, they’ve created a sleeker option that focuses more on branding with a cleaner code look based on gaps placed throughout a ring. Digimarc, another QR code boundary pusher, takes the cake by attempting to create mobile interaction with everything from an image to sounds using many QR Code Reader iPhone apps and Android Apps.

Clearly, this mix of technology and advertising is steadily improving with new forms and functions constantly. That being said, functional improvement is meaningless if the platform is not applied with the right strategy and tactics in the real world.

I recently found myself standing in the Philadelphia subway and spotted a QR code on a candy advertisement across the rails. At the safest distance, without dangling myself out in front of a pending train, the closest I could get to the QR code was about 12 feet. The QR code took up a small portion of the lower left corner of the ad, and when zoomed in on became blurred. When I got back above ground, the decoder application was incapable of deciphering it. This brought another issue to my attention, if I hadn’t already known what a QR code was and installed a reader application, how would I even know that it failed or received additional information if it had been successful? Quite frankly, how much time are we anticipating the average commuter will put into interacting with that advertisement?

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