Why Mystery QR Codes are Not Such a Great Idea

Don’t do this with your QR Code campaign.
This week a series of Mystery QR codes popped up all over Montogomery, Alabama, much to the puzzlement of passersby. After a few days of suspense, it was finally revealed that the codes were being used by a group of residents which was working with the city’s development department to bring TedX talks to the Montgomery. The city’s director of development Chad Emerson says in this article that the idea behind using QR codes was to draw attention and that it fit the theme of the talk, which is “how positive disruption can be a catalyst for change”.

While the QR codes may have served their primary purpose in this case, there are two major pitfalls to using QR codes in marketing campaigns without a clear call-action.

  1. People may think it’s not worth the trouble: While you will certainly get a fair number of people who will think it worth their while to stop and scan the QR code, there will be a larger number of people who will wonder why they should waste their time scanning a code that might only lead them to a homepage, which will probably turn out to be mobile-unfriendly. So always tell people why they should be scanning your QR code.
  2. People will be wary of Malware: Unsuspecting people scan QR codes which don’t say much and then they find that they have downloaded malware to their mobile devices. Stating the purpose of your QR code tends to reassure people that no such thing will happen with your code.

If you want to create an impact with your QR code, make sure that your Call-to-Action is not just clear, but also creative, thought-provoking or funny. Ensure that the site you lead your scanners to is mobile-compatible and that the information provided that is actually useful and unique.

 

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Mystery QR Code

1 Comment
  1. Anonymous April 23, 2013 at 9:41 am - Reply

    […] it’s certainly not the most bizarre use of QR codes (or even the worst), it does give one pause: at what point does the use of QR codes stop being creative, and start […]

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