Oh, QR Codes [insert long sigh here]. I’ve been known to go on a rant in a meeting about how much I don’t think QR Codes aid marketing strategies. Part of this is because I don’t think many people actually use QR Codes. However, the reason most people are trained not to use them may just be because marketers have used them incorrectly in the past. Marketers (including myself) have made mistakes in what their QR Codes link to. Simply linking to a website or a Facebook page isn’t useful to your customers. They can do that without having to pull out their phone, go to the right app and then try to scan a box of pixels. Instead, these codes should link to deals or specials only available to those who scan them- similar to deals when you check-in on FourSquare. They need something that makes a customer want to go through the effort of getting out their phone at the moment they see a QR Code, rather than just pulling up the website later.
While I think QR Codes are pretty much dead at this point (like I said, I’m bias), that’s not to say all new technologies have to be this way. I think with proper education, and perhaps a more clear use, these things can succeed. If marketers hadn’t been using QR Codes improperly from the get-go, then maybe they would’ve succeeded? Who knows.