The Death of QR Codes?

17 replies
QR codes have not seen the universal popularity that mobile technophiles originally hoped for. Now that Shortcut is on the scene, they may be gone before they get the chance.
Shortcut App is a QR Killer | Power Retail

In all my years on the Warrior Forum, I have never liked and have never posted a 'death of' post. However, the title seemed appropriate for this post, unless, of course, I used the term 'demise' as the author of the article above did.

However, for mobile marketers this is an important issue, as most have done a lot of research and promotional work for incorporating QR codes as part of their business offerings.

Having read this article, I'm tending to agree with the (as yet) single comment posted on the site in response to the article:

This is a limited alternative to but one of the myriad of uses of the QR code, and it speaks to the general public’s still limited knowledge of what QR codes can do/be used for. Newspapers and print media are going the way of the Dodo, yet this is going to “kill” QR? Not bloody likely…
My feeling is that this article was posted to promote the 'Shortcut' app.

Just curious what others think about this?
#codes #death
  • Profile picture of the author blackscorpion
    There are many uses for Q R codes, and one is only limited by ones creativity and imagination. Think of a creative "out of the box" concept of using QR codes for a particular business and sell the concept.
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  • I really enjoy QR codes if you do them right the customer enjoys them too they are fun.
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  • Profile picture of the author KingMedia
    Things change so fast. Good concept, but how reliable is it? Pretty cool indeed, but can also be a pain if their are any hiccups, etc. Will def check it out more...

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    • Profile picture of the author Ricky Allen
      Well I think we need to look more closely at how good Shortcut is.

      From what I see of it so far it does not sem an exact science in taking you to exactly where you want to go or learn more about.

      I will wait and see how it works out of course but think that QR Codes still have the edge in taking Smart phone users and others to somewhere on the net they want to be.

      Ricky Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author Rojak Moon
    Only thing that will kill QR Codes is for us to quit promoting & selling them. As long as the end user receives the value for scanning a code, the client receives a ROI for investing in you for providing the expertise and you get "paid" for developing and implementing the marketing strategy... it ain't going no where fast. In my opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author limecellular
    Interesting article. I can see publications picking up on this app quickly, because as the author described such business as "low hanging fruit". But I can see QR codes being set aside for specific responses, whereas, say you take a picture of a logo, it will simply take you to a mobile version of the company or brand's web site. Also, of course some tech journalist is going to look at this with little objectivity, because most of these people are journalists first, and tech people / marketers second. I don't mean to say that journalists aren't objective but what I am saying is, they write for a publication, Shortcut applies easily to publications, and the favor becomes apparent.

    An issue with QR that has been brought up has been that of hackers using QR codes to direct users to fraudulent, malicious websites. There's an air of frightening unfamiliarity that likens most users to refrain from scanning. But it's like the saying goes: don't get in cars with strangers. The context should give you enough trust to scan onward.

    The article also brings up the idea that QR has not been gaining popularity. So far, we've seen an inability for large companies to effectively integrate mobile marketing strategy because obviously it is something new and in ways it is a different beast altogether.

    We can't go about pronouncing QR dead until after this grand scale of failure has allowed for insights to allow for improvement and a more optimal situation to present itself. The Super Bowl was a good example of that.
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  • Profile picture of the author BKH
    I pronounced QR codes "dead" (to me at least) about six months ago. Not for any other reason than, it just was not effective for me or my customers. I was adding QR codes to all of my text campaign print and I was getting less than one percent of the opt-ins from my QR codes. I finally just gave gave up on them after trying for about six months. I think a lot of it just had to do with the little knowledge of QR codes out there currently.
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  • Profile picture of the author ClayFranklin
    Home Depot has used QR codes on plants to provide information about the particular plant. QR codes rock IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrmarketer1
    Google had a big push behind QR codes about a year or so ago with 'Local' but it looks like they have started to back away from them too....hummm
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  • Profile picture of the author pinkdeanna
    I think kill is such a strong word... It's always good to have alternatives though!
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  • Profile picture of the author quickrecognition
    That's exactly the kind of article I'd write if I were hoping to generate viral hype for my page/blog/whatever by getting people who know what they are talking about to argue against my Phillipics. I don't really see anything on the horizon that will kill QR. Push proponents of QR to use it in more dynamic and useful ways? Sure. But that which doesn't kill me...
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  • Profile picture of the author jayspann
    Comscore has QR usage at right around 6% or a little over 6% of QR codes are getting scanned.

    I do think they are neat (novel) but I haven't pushed them to my clients yet.

    I've put them on flyers and mail pieces but people seem to rather type the url then to scan the code.

    I did see an article in BusinessWeek that NFC was going to kill the QR Code but I don't see that growing for marketers either.

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  • Profile picture of the author olauno
    I don't think QR Codes are going anywhere. I think people really need to step back and rethink the many ways in which they can be used. Especially not just in marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nanaswhimsy
      QR Code usage is increasing daily. It is not dead. As more consumers are educated as to what QR Codes are, the more they will be used if the incentive to use is good. My brother and I were talking about QR Codes and he said the company he works for (construction contractor supplies) are talking about replacing all their UPC codes with QR codes because of the ability of the QR Code to hold more data.

      You have to think outside the box and you will certainly come up with ideas on ways to use QR Codes. And you have to educate consumers so those that don't know what they are become aware of how easy they are to use. Then you will see alot more optins with QR Codes as we lazy consumers find it easier to scan a code then tap the screen than to type in a keyword to a number.

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  • Profile picture of the author tamnl
    I see that now the write love to use the strong words "death" "kill" even the truth is not so serious. Each strategy has each famous time so maybe now QR codes is not so popular but it's very interesting. People can use it easily. I think it can't die.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    Who controls what info is brought up when image/article/billboard scanned by Shortcut?

    Google Goggles is another augmented reality app that could do functions of QR codes. QR codes are versatile and dynamic that can be changed as well.

    Just think of the sales opportunities to improve businesses with all these technologies. I think they'll each have their own place for various applications. More stuff to sell!

    The big advances will be in the future as people are educated on the various QR type tools. Also, a built in multireader that automatically recognizes the various codes is critical. Your phone cam should auto recognize various codes and launch a preinstalled app, rather than depending on you to D/L several apps ahead of time, launch them, then take a pic.

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