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QR Codes Are Hopeless….Or Are They?

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What comes first, the QR code or the everyday QR code user? Tis the question I am pondering today after reading this article. Back in November, I addressed how small businesses could use QR codes in the first ever episode of A Kick-Ass Three Minutes. Admittedly, I got caught up in the possibilities of QR codes, not necessarily the realities. They could bring life to static ads, they could add a layer of depth and interactivity with minimal intrusion on the everyday lives of consumers. I even edited my “Contact Us” page accordingly.

Then, the enthusiasm died down as I realized the hesitancy of the masses to adapt to this process. Very few of my friends and colleagues understood QR codes and even less had an app to read them on their mobile devices. The technology had slowly creeped into retail marketing but its velocity had not been what was expected in other disciplines.

In the last few weeks, as the DigiDay Daily piece covers, we’ve seen several big brands utilize QR codes in significant campaigns, seemingly breathing much needed life into the tactic in one quick spurt. However, the author presents the argument that just because brands are using QR codes, doesn’t mean consumers are – and that’s the true test of their potential.

My take – only time will tell. The adoption of new consumer technology seems to hit the gas pedal when “everyone else is doing it”. Can big brands essentially force consumers into using QR codes on a more regular basis? Not completely, but all an idea needs is a spark. Just one spark….


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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire.

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