Friday, March 18, 2011

QR Codes: Still not Solving a Problem


I asked the question back in December: what problem are QR codes addressing?

I think I have the answer finally. The problem is for advertisers. NOT for consumers. It gives you a short quick mystery that must be solved by the consumer.

Head over to Mashable and read this case for the final tipping point of QR codes.
The author attempts to make the case that the tipping point will be a major event but qualifies that it must have the following criteria to be worthwhile: optimized to be mobile, must have a payoff, and that it will take a campaign of usage for it to catch on.

I'm with the author. There had better be a payoff. If you are just trying to get linkage to your Facebook, website, or Twitter account, I think this is going to start backfiring.

Why?

It's a tradeoff. People WANT transparency in what they signup for right? Godin got big on permission marketing and opt-ins are the way to go with emails etc. A QR code is the ultimate online act of faith (although shortened urls can be just as problematic). You have no idea what you are going to get when you scan that code (any more than you would with a shortened URL).


What is that worth to you? Do you expect only a link to blog, a Facebook or Twitter page?