The first is “Don’t Blame QR Codes for Bad Marketing Ideas” from GeeklessTech.com. Here’s a few choice snippets:
So, whenever I hear someone write about how QRs stink, or are a waste, or even how they are already obsolete, I just shake my head. I check out the writer’s company and make a note to never deal with that person or company.
Most of the QR code detractors mention Augmented Reality (AR) and Near Field Communications (NFC) as better and more functional technologies for print to web linking. AR and NFC are great technologies, but they have different functions as well as expenses not shared by QR codes.
QR codes do have limitations. All of them, however, involve the ability to scan the code. A code that is too small, too far away, or on a moving object, won’t allow a user to get out their smart phone in time to scan the code.
Placement has always been a consideration for any print piece, and has long had the problem of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Who says marketers have always been at the top of their game? Is every advertisement successful?
These are comments that I can totally agree with. For a while there was a Tumblr account showing how stupid QR codes were. (I can’t seem to find it anymore. If it still exists please point me to it in the comments.) At first it was funny but it ended up annoying me very quickly. In one example, the poster was complaining that this particular QR code was way too small to be usable. Trouble is, what was pictured wasn’t a QR code, it was some other 2D code meant only to be read by a particular machine, not by smartphones. Others often complained about QR codes on moving vehicles like delivery trucks. Trouble is folks, those trucks aren’t always moving!
So how about a good example? The other article is “Readers Advisory Initiative at the Chelmsford Library” from The Swiss Army Librarian.
The best way to promote these [reader’s advisory] lists, they felt, was to print out labels with the list URLs (and QR codes) on them, and stick them in each book that was on the list. I know other libraries use QR code labels in their collections (notably the Dover [MA] Town Library), but I don’t know how many are mass-sticking the actual books. And they’re trying to stick them in the books as close to the end of the story as possible, so that patrons find them immediately after finishing a good story.
In this example we have great placement, and a simple use for which something like NFC (which not everyone phone has yet) would be completely overkill.
So, if you’re a QR code hater, please read both of these articles and then leave a comment. Let me know if you’re still a hater of the tech, or really just a hater of how many people implement it.