How to not be STUPID when using QR codes in 4 easy rules

OK, as marketers we have a a big gripe! The complete misuse of QR codes

You know QR codes right? The black and white squares that you are supposed to scan to do something or take you to some website.

The problem is that the majority of QR we see out in population are completely pointless, misused, add no value or just plain stupid.

So, if you are going to do a QR code campaign please abide by these 4 easy rules…

ACTION: If you have in the past, or are thinking of doing a QR code campaign, read these 4 easy rules and ensure your campaign doesn’t break any of them!

Rule 1. DO NOT USE THEM AS LINKS TO YOUR HOME PAGE.
Seriously, you may as well just give people a link. It is pointless, and just ends the campaign on your generalised home page, with no clear place to go. Think about the purpose of your QR code, and what you want the person do actually do.

Rule 2. ALWAYS HAVE AN INCENTIVE.
There is still no ‘norm’ in QR code readers. They aren’t built into the majority of phones, so a user will most likely have a dodgy QR code scanner app that is temperamental at the best of times. If you want somebody to faff on with scanning your code, then a clear incentive for doing so needs to be in place! A fantastic give away for example.

Rule 3. THINK ABOUT WHERE POTENTIAL PEOPLE ARE, WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO BE SCANNING.
We see so many QR codes in silly places, such as roll-up banners at business exhibitions. In a busy room do I want to look like the fool getting up close and personal with your roll-up banner, trying to get my temperamental scanner to work? Probably not. Also – websites we see them on? I am on your website right now, why not have a click-able link!? Things need to be easy, so think about printed literature such as flyers, posters in suitable places, or magazine ads. They can be a great way to get offline people online interacting with your business, say for example if they are waiting for the bus, in a waiting room, relaxing with a magazine at home.

Rule 4. ENSURE YOUR CAMPAIGN IS MOBILE FRIENDLY
QR codes are scanned using mobile devises, so if you are taking people to a non-optimised web page you are completely missing the point. Marketing is now mobile, and QR codes should only be used in a Mobile Campaign. That means optimised web pages, with easy call to actions, that allow people to do whatever it is you want them to do on the go.