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Companies Shun Marketing Advice on QR Codes

While there are some “experts” who insist the short reign of QR codes is over, has been over, never really started, it seems QR codes keep proving them wrong. You see them being used by cities (and entire countries), on just about every package, on government vehicles, signs, and everywhere! So, is it a zombie apocalypse of QR code corpses, lying around, preying on the consuming public?

In a recent survey of customers, more than 60% think QR codes will continue to be the premier print-to-digital link system for marketing and other information digital access. The recent use of QR codes in videos is a major leap for something marketers thought only worked in print.

Eventually, someone will find a new way to use links on web pages. The familiar blue, underlined link has been replaced by links in bold, colored fonts. What’s next? Something, and the same will go for QR codes and anything else digital. Surprisingly, considering the lifespan of most digital tools, QR codes will outlive most.

Who Sees the Power of QR Codes?

Look at the names of the websites that host articles declaring the reign of terror QR codes caused marketers everywhere. They are marketing news websites yet they don’t seem to ever cover the great marketing the companies do on their own with QR codes.

Oddly, it’s the tech and social media news sites that get QR codes and what they can do. QR code are not dying and those who use them successfully wish those who nay-say the codes would either learn the right way to use them, or just go away – silently, if possible.

The new Apple watch includes QR codes for identification purposes for a variety of uses and recently Google, WhatsApp and SnapChat announced using QR codes for user experience, so expect to see more QR codes in your daily life.


The Weather Channel has started inserting QR codes into their video feed for viewers to find more local information on breaking weather situations.

How QR Codes Affect Marketing

It’s unfortunate that early QR code usage for marketing was met with less than glorious results. When dynamite was first introduced, there were probably quite a few people who blew themselves up, not knowing the proper handling of a new, highly destructive force. While QR codes won’t cause loss of life or limb, it can be a budget killer when no ROI is seen. Unfortunately, when someone blew themselves up with a stick of TNT, no one said, “that dynamite doesn’t work. It never blew up that mountain!” Naturally, they never said, “that idiot carrying the stick of dynamite didn’t blow up that mountain!”

A ScanLife report showed that:

[pullquote]“Nearly half of the scanning of QR codes came from a specific age group. Forty seven percent of QR code scans were completed by people between the ages of 25 and 44 years. Another 38 percent were generated by mobile device users who were 45 years old or older. Moreover, men were more likely to scan than women, as only 41 percent of scanners were female, and 59 percent were male.

These QR code trend statistics were based on a massive 22 million scans. The time during which a barcode is most likely to be scanned is between 6 pm and 7 pm. The average individual who uses this technology will scan a code 4 times, on average.”[/pullquote]

While this may faintly support the assertions that millennials are not scanning QR codes, the QR codes scanning stats show that at this very moment, first level millennials ARE scanning as a majority (32.3% of QR code scans are done by ages 25-34 while 18-24 year-olds account for 22.6%, just a bit lower than the 35-44 age group that scanned QR codes 23.8%. The stats show the gender split to currently be at 55.2% male and 44.8% female).

The truth is – the ease and positive consumer experience and interaction has caused QR code usage to grow, despite some superb blunders in the past and is always evolving with brilliant new innovative ways to use them. If savvy users believe that QR code will still be the digital link of choice for the next 5 or more years, then in terms of internet time, they will eventually die old and happy, replaced by something new. As NFC never really caught on and augmented reality still a good distance in the future (for the standard of consumer digital experience), then QR codes are a proven good investment… as long as they’re used correctly… like a stick of dynamite!

QR Code Best Practices

[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right”]Great Uses for QR Codes You Probably Didn’t Consider[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right”]Other Great Uses for QR Codes You Probably Didn’t Consider[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right”]MORE QR Code Uses You Should Consider[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right”]13 Great Reasons Why Packaging Needs QR Codes[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right”]QR Code Failures… and Why[/list_item]

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