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Are QR Codes Dead?

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If QR codes are already dead, its epitaph would read “we hardly knew ye.” It seems like just yesterday that someone was explaining a QR code to me, and I’m a pretty tech-savvy person. I know that some of my less Internet-y friends don’t understand or use them, my sister doesn’t even have a smartphone, and at BlogWorld, a group of us were actually talking about how the scanning aps we have don’t work very well, so we don’t scan them very often.

So are QR codes already dead? Is this a failed technology that we should put in the “it was a cool idea that never really panned out” pile?

Recently, Dave Wieneke from AdAge wrote a piece entitled “Why Marketers Shouldn’t Waste Their Time With QR Codes.” It’s hard to disagree with his claims – that marketers love them more than consumers do. They’re overused and often just lead consumers to more advertising, which is turning off anyone who has decided to check out what this QR thing is all about.

Not everyone agrees with Wieneke, of course. On ClickZ, Melinda Krueger argues a case for QR codes and if you do a quick Google search for “cool QR codes” you’ll come up with tons of results for people and companies using them in really unique ways. At BlogWorld LA 2011, Peter Shankman actually used the Stefan Pinto ad pictured at right to highlight smart advertising – it’s an example of a QR code used in a really funny way.

But there are a lot of people misusing QR codes, and it’s perhaps making them irrelevant for all of us. I can’t tell you how many times I see QR codes on websites. Really? That doesn’t even make sense. Or when I scan a code, it often takes me to the company home page. So what? I could have found you easily online after shopping…a QR code wasn’t necessarily. There was no “next step” for users (like “liking” a Facebook page) or benefit (like getting a coupon for some free products).

I don’t think QR codes are dead…yet. They are perhaps in the hospital bed, but the disease isn’t incurable if we take action. What do you think? Are QR codes on the way out? Do you use them for your website or business? As a consumer, do you scan them when you see them as part of marketing campaigns?

19 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About QR Codes

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Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge link of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: QR Codes

This year at BlogWorld was the first time I really saw people at a conference really talking about QR codes. Of course, they’ve been around for much longer, but I think QR codes have really taken off in popularity. I don’t know tons about using QR codes effectively myself, so I was actually excited to research and read all of the posts related to this topic. Let’s jump right into the posts this week; here’s what some brilliant bloggers have to say about using QR codes:

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

QR Codes 101: Make Links to Your Website from Anywhere by Charles Hamilton

I wanted to include this link as the first on the Brilliant Blogger list because it is such a good, quick overview if you’ve never really used QR codes before or don’t understand how they code be relevant to you. While this is a very brief overview (especially as compared to some other posts linked below), there are TONS of links within the post that you can click to fin more information about QR codes. When you’re done reading the article, you can also follow Charles on Twitter @chcs.

QR Codes: Are Your Read for Paper-Based Hyperlinks? by Mark Sprague

I love this Search Engine Land post by Mark Sprague because it not only gives a really good overview of what a QR codes, but it also gives readers real-life examples of how companies around the world are successfully using QR codes. Mark also gives you lots of ideas on how you can use QR codes as well, so if you’re new to this concept this is a great place to start thinking about how you can use the codes for your business. Check out Mark on Twitter @CMarkSprague.

How Effective are QR Codes with Consumers? by Grant Iven

Okay, QR codes might be neat, but I want to know the same thing most businesses want to know – are they working? Companies like to talk a lot about ROI, and while it might be free to generate a QR code, if you’re going to print it everywhere, there’s a bit of investment involved. This post is a little case study showing what happened when one company used QR codes to promote their Facebook page. You can follow Grant on twitter after checking out this post @saywhat_com.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about QR codes? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link!

Next Week’s Topic: Offensive Content

I’d love to include a link to your post next week – and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

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