QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

QR Codes: Because Why NOT?


Three years ago on September 13, 2010, I uploaded a video about QR codes and I got a lot of confused questions that pretty much translated to, “What The Heck!!” At the time I was still learning about this technology, because it was still new to the United States.  I would consume as much information as I could, with the goal of learning more about this cool “new” technology.  In some circles I became the “GoTo” person for QR Code technology.


As my excitement grew I started to notice more and more of this technology out there. QR codes were on everything, people had them on their websites, online catalogs and more. I was guilty of this as well, until I though “Hey, wait a minute….” This is all wrong. That is when I started to understand that this technology is being utilized in the “hey new shiny object sort of way” but it was not being used as effectively as it could have been.  That’s when I realized that the usage of QR codes might not ever reach its full potential because in some instances they were being used incorrectly.


My findings:

  • There is no reason to add a QR Code to your website because people are usually on your mobile or traditional website when they are viewing the QR Code.  So if you had plans of using the QR code to direct them to your website, they are already there, there’s not need. Don’t use QR codes on a website to direct them to your website.
  • QR Codes that are geared to open to a website should ALWAYS open to a mobile website, not a traditional website. We all know by now that a traditional website may not display properly on a mobile device.  There ARE NO exceptions to this rule.
  • QR Codes should NOT scan to “Download my catalog” because most of the time people have scanned a QR code with their phone. Absolutely NO one wants to use all of their data to download your HUGE PDF catalog to their phone.


QR Codes Should Scan To Mobile

QR Codes Should Scan To Mobile


The BEST and most practical use of QR Codes are to tie traditional print media to digital media.  As digital marketers we can sometimes not grasp that everyone is NOT so enamored with the growth of technology as we are. However it is true!  There are still many people that are very print-oriented and QR codes are a great option for that population of folks.


So as marketers we must recognize that although we are focused on digital media there is still an opportunity to tie traditional print to digital for clients that still utilize this form of marketing.  QR codes are the perfect vehicle to get this done. As a matter of fact, this is the primary reason that QR Codes should NOT be discounted and should be revisited.  There has not been an equivalent and cost effective medium introduced that is capable of tying together these two media as QR codes can, if executed properly.


Although it was once thought that NFC could bridge the gap between traditional print media and digital, it has not materialized as we originally thought that it would. This is primarily due to the cost and complexity of this technology for mainstream populations. Since the need to bridge traditional and digital, QR Codes remain the logical and least expensive way to go, as long as traditional marketing remains even a little relevant.


At one time we exclusively used traditional marketing, but we all know that things have change. In spite of this, there has not been a total elimination of traditional print media. So, we can still utilize traditional media to drive traffic to digital channels, creating a bit of a fusion between the older traditional marketing strategies and the new emerging digital marketing strategies.


Until the total discontinuation of traditional print media, as marketers we must find a way to tie together traditional and digital mediums for ourselves on occasion and for our clients. QR codes can be a very cost effective way to do this.


So lets give some thought to revisiting QR codes, if you’ve worked with them before or venture into something new if you haven’t.


As usual, I welcome comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. So follow me me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Google+ and let’s start a QR code discussion!

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About anisesmith

Anise Smith has a Masters Degree in Internet Marketing from Full Sail University. She is President and Director of Anise Smith Marketing which specializes in New Media Marketing Strategies such as Mobile Web, QR code Products, Virtual World Integration and more. She has clients primarily focused in the entertainment and music industries which include music producers, artists, managers and booking agents. Anise is also the Digital Marketing Specialist of a Full services healthcare Company, located in Cherry Hill, NJ. She uses her healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing background to implement cutting edge digital marketing strategies that merge traditional and digital mediums. She is in charge of creating and implementing marketing strategies for seven internal health services brands. Her strategy for a new media marketing mix includes digital marketing, social media optimization, web analytics, video creation/editing, eCommerce platforms, mobile web readiness, custom CMS driven iFrame pages, custom branded WordPress layouts, building traditional/digital brand awareness and more. Her ultimate goal is to merge traditional marketing with digital marketing strategies to increase brand awareness, increase exposure and potentially increase sales online and offline within the health care services industry. She also works as an advocate for a soon to be non profit organization which provides college and educational resources for inner city kids, Urban Freshman. When she is not online she is a rabid Philadelphia EAGLES Fan, closet Foodie and single mom to a miniature male version of herself.

Posted on November 20, 2013, in QR Codes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hi Anise…great analysis of how best to NOT use QR codes. We have started implementing QR codes at The Hype Magazine to augment our print and digital issues. Often, a recorded interview runs past the word count max for the magazine and thus we upload the full audio and place the QR code to it within the article page. I too used to wonder at the use of QR codes but now they play a major part for our news outlet. We can also save trees and water by printing less on paper and referring people to digital only articles from within our magazine to our site.

    • Hi Jerry!
      I think ultimately it has been a trial and error with QR codes and this could be an opportunity to get more exposure. QR codes are perfect for use with print and digital as you are using them! Rock on Jerry :-)

      I think QR codes will be utilized more now due to the growing use of smart phones and better QR code scanners. This will be better for the environment as you stated.

  2. Thanks. Great article on QR codes. I think QR codes are here to stay. I am a big fan of NFC and use them to automate my phone (when I leave the house, get it my car etc)- the tags are actually quite cheap. However Apple are still avoiding it as a technology. It also looks like QR codes might be used to log into sites- doing away with usernames and passwords with a technology (open source) called SQRL- Secure Quick Reliable Login.

    • Hi Ian,

      Thank you for taking time to read and comment! I think until another platform is created to together tie digital and print, QR codes will be around for a while. I still do love the idea of QR codes and hope that they become more mainstream. NFC is something that I would love to see more of as well.

      • No problem, Anise. I’ve been meaning to leave a comment on your blog for a while! It’s great to see someone championing QR codes. In my experience QR codes used to be seen something just for geeks. However they are much more widespread but still have that interest factor. I use a QR code on the back of my business card and it always sparks off a conversation.

      • Thank you so much Ian! I have been a champion of them for a number of years [ I create a QR Code video 3 years ago] and it’s good to find people that have an interest as well. Geeks are the new cool kids you know. :-)

        I use them on the back of business cards too! They are great in getting a direct response from the business card recipient if they are familiar with the technology. I’ve also used them on trade show banners and for music downloads. The capabilities are great with the right campaign! I’m glad to see they are making a quiet comeback.

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