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Alternative View of QR codes - fail

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  • Level 5

QR codes are overhyped.

For users, QR code "understanding" is only 30%.

And QR code "adoption" is much less.

QR Code analysis done by Arik Hanson:

1) They would need to understand what a QR code is and how it works (see 30 percent number).

2) They would need to have a smartphone AND a QR code scanner on their phones (numbers of smart phone users have recently been identified around 50 percent–those with QR code readers is a smaller percentage).

3) They would need to see the QR code AND be compelled enough to take 1-3 minutes to scan it and consume the content.

4) The product content needs to be compelling enough to get them to take action – the ultimate end goal.

I might argue that’s an awfully damn tall order to get a customer to do steps 1-4 as outlined above. A DAMN tall order.

Here is a link to his study of brands at the Mall of America on Black Friday (hint: partial fail)


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  • Level 5*

I know it's rare for marketers and advertisers to employ common sense, but obviously you have to do so with any new process. I like QR codes that make appointments in my diary (when I want them to); give me website addresses that I don't have to photograph or write down; take me to websites that actually add to my shopping experience; give me easy access to local wi-fi; and help complete dozens of other useful data exchanges with minimum effort on my part. There are lots of lemons out there - but then I think the copywriting and the art on lots of printed stuff is a waste of space too. I think QR codes are useful as a part of a rounded communications plan and hope their use continues. It doesn't seem too far-fetched to believe that we'll all soon have very smart phones that will be able to read them.

I like augmented reality too.

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  • Level 5

For general consumer use and marketing, they may be overhyped. For my family's use of Evernote, QR codes can't be hyped enough. Nobody has to adopt them except those of us living under the same roof.

Yes, I agree. Most people will not use QR Codes.

And like most high-tech developments, there is a special group of people who will use them and promote the concept.

Similar to Linux (developed over 20 years ago, but still has a devout group of followers)

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