Great QR Code Use for the Haters

By | August 23, 2014

I have been participating in a LinkedIn discussion for designers in which the QR Code haters are out in force. The consensus was that QR Codes are dead because they are ugly, there are more innovative technologies out there, and designers don’t like them.

If you ask me, that’s the wrong way to look at it. This isn’t about what’s innovative, what’s aesthetically pleasing, or what designers like. It’s about what accomplishes the goal set by the client. If QR Codes are the response mechanism (or one of the response mechanisms) that accomplish that goal, then great.

Designers should be thinking more about matching goals to channels than what looks pretty and stimulates their personal interest.

SeaWorldScanbuy has an interest use case that I think exemplifies QR Codes at their best. The use case comes from SeaWorld, which wanted to drive traffic to its mobile app, where it could communicate park details and share special features.

Using the tagline “Put the Park in Your Pocket,” SeaWorld added QR Codes to signs throughout the park to drive visitors to the app. In addition to providing general information about the park, the app included features of real value to the user, such as a car-finder, wait time information for popular shows, and GPS navigation throughout the venue. SeaWorld also generated 20,000 app downloads in just six weeks.

That doesn’t sound like QR Codes are dead to me. It sounds like a great match of campaign goals to marketing channel.

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10 thoughts on “Great QR Code Use for the Haters

  1. Lou Berceli

    Can you please post a link to this within Discussions on our LinkedIn Group which is called 2D / QR Codes for Global Media

    Thank you,
    Lou Berceli

  2. Heidi Tolliver-Walker Post author

    Hi, Lou. Glad to oblige. I just posted it to the group. I would love to hear group members’ perspective on designers distaste for QR Codes. I’d love to hear group members’ thoughts on this.

  3. Gina Testa

    Indeed, QR codes are not dead – and thanks to digital integrations like QR codes, print isn’t dead either! A key role that print plays is serving as a source for discovering the digital world’s offerings. Whether implemented through an extensive digital and print combination or simply through QR codes and other scannable symbols, cross-media marketing can take consumers to sites automatically with a simple scan of a smart phone. While print may not always be the primary focus for cross-media marketing these days, marketers need to recognize the value and simplicity of integrating QR codes into printed media. – Gina Testa, Xerox US Graphic Communications Operations, @GinaTesta

  4. Heidi Tolliver-Walker Post author

    I shared this post on a designer’s LInkedIn discussion group and got an interesting comment about one of the challenges with QR Codes:

    “The real trouble for QR codes, from what I’ve seen, is to integrate the tracking software into your website analytics. Figuring out a potential customers port of entry is easy, but matching that port to their click-through rate can be tough. Only those who really know SEO tactics can really push QR codes to their full potential. Unfortunately, from my experience, not many designers are tech-savvy when it comes to SEO conversion tactics.”

    What’s the solution here, do you think?

  5. Josh

    that could not be too hard with Google Analytics, from the top of my head:
    1. Assign a parameter to the URL, like: &referer=fromqr
    Now you see the traffic.
    2. Define some goals you want to reach: Visitor filled form etc
    Match 1. and 2. and you are done.
    But I agree, designers often do not care much

  6. William Luke

    QR Codes are like shoes, there are shoes for each activity type. QR codes are exact and low cost to produce and they drive to specific locations. You could use augmented reality if you have 1000 times the budget.

  7. TownCircle Fan

    TownCircle is a brand new app doing the similar thing (as SeaWorld app) for all businesses. There slogan is – Local business at your fingertips!

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