Chances are pretty high that you've scanned a QR code at some point this year. Chances are also pretty great that you were disappointed with the results of that scan.
It seems that marketers and brands really want QR codes to work.
They are spattered on television commercials, magazine ads, billboards (how are you supposed to scan that?!), bus banners, restaurant menus and a whole lot of other places. Where are all those odd-looking boxes taking everyone?
Turns out, nowhere interesting.
Send me to your landing page, and I'm bored. Send me to a sign-up form, and I'm a bit annoyed. If I want more information about your company, I'll Google you. It's easier and quicker. If I want your newsletter, I'll give you my email address when I follow your blog. When I take the time to scan a QR code on my phone, I want to be sent somewhere valuable and relevant. Somewhere with something unique to offer. I want to be sent somewhere that I want to go.
Here's the fascinating part: This isn't a technology problem.
Lots of people scan, even despite the fact that "scanners" aren't pre-loaded on smartphones. QR codes really do motivate consumers. This is a problem with strategy. This is a classic case of doing something without knowing why. It's like inviting a bunch of people to a party, and not serving food or drinks when they get there because you never really expected them to show up. People tend to quickly leave those kind of parties.
To deliver that kind of excitement requires knowing your consumer, well. It's about understanding what is valuable and important to her. It's about being respectful of her time and attention. And it's ultimately about believing you have something worthwhile to tell her, something that is worth taking a couple minutes to listen.
Once-hot QR codes are on the decline. Why? Businesses forgot to be interesting.
I'm curious. Am I wrong? When's the last time you scanned a QR code? Was it worth your time, or did it fail to deliver? And, how did that affect your perception of that particular brand or business? Comment below and share your insight.