I’m just back from summer break and while I was on holidays I picked up a copy of the Social Media Monthly at the newsagent. It was more curiosity than anything, and at $17.50 despite a $6.99 USD cover price and above parity exchange rate, I now consider that curiousity satisfied and probably won’t be doing it again. But I digress…
Something that really struck me was the inordinate number of QR codes in the magazine. Front and back cover, and nearly every ad and article inside had a code attached.
I think QR codes can be a very useful and valuable tool. But as with most things I talk about here, they’re only good as long as they are easy to use and provide value for the customer.
In a bit of an experiment, I scanned all 20 QR codes in the magazine – only two went to a mobile optimised version of their site. One didn’t work all together and the kicker for me was the one for a business that specialises in mobile applications that went to their standard web site.
While a normal website can be viewed on a smart phone, the experience is not awesome. Images and text become small and illegible, and you have to drag around the page to navigate it all. If a site is optimised for mobile however, the experience is much better.
Experience is everything.
Secondly, you need to think about WHY you are using the QR code. Are you offering anything of value that might make it worth their while? As an example, all I landed on when I scanned the magazine’s QR code was a non optimised subscription page. No value to me.
Think about what you want people to do when they get there. It’s like building Facebook fans – awesome to have, but what are you delivering to them in terms of value?
Remember – value and experience – these two things should be the foundation of everything you do.
Yes, that QR code above does actually work. It’s a little gem from Scott Stratten on bad use of QR codes – plenty you can learn from here. And for those of you who don’t want to scan it, you can watch it below.