Using QR codes in marketing

Here at the South by South­west Inter­ac­tive con­fer­ence, QR codes are every­where. If you don’t know what they are, here’s the Wikipedia descrip­tion. (In short, they are smart­phone scannable codes that send users off to a web­site or mobile appli­ca­tion. They often allow the orig­i­na­tor to grab a poten­tial new cus­tomer.)

Prob­lem? Too many of these babies are all over the place here. It’s as if each com­pany said, “We need to get some­thing out there with a QR code on it — and it doesn’t mat­ter what it says or links to. Just get it out now, now. We only have two weeks till the event kicks off!”


None of them (that I saw) thought of a hook to make them­selves stand out among the sea of other QR codes. Moral of the story? Take a lit­tle longer to think through your mar­ket­ing effort before you launch it.


Author: Paul

Sharing the shiny bits of life since I can remember. I run

5 thoughts on “Using QR codes in marketing”

  1. I do like the idea, but you are right. they are every­where..
    I have a qr code for my con­tact info on my iPhone. so if i pull up the image from my photo library some­one could scan it. how­ever only one per­son has scanned it. every­one else just wants a card.


  2. We’ve been think­ing about using them here — I don’t think that there are many mis­sions organ­i­sa­tions that have ven­tured into the world of the QR code yet. But, I don’t want to just go and slap them on every­thing we do, they must have a pur­pose, and you still have to put the web address on your mate­ri­als because not every­one knows about this or can use it yet. 

    I am pleased to see in your pic­ture one in a dif­fer­ent colour. I was get­ting wor­ried that they always had to be black.

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