Add a QR just because you can? Think twice!

We’re seeing a rising demand for QR codes coming from our customers. And rightly so, given the ever growing numbers of smartphone users, even in this country with overpriced mobile data plans. And since we offer automated solutions for PURLs (personalized URL’s) and QR that demand is quite logical. But that does not mean adding a QR code is always a good idea.

Late last week, one of our customers made an urgent request for a QR code to be added on a publication. The URL to be encoded was their public website. So after generating it, I checked whether it would scan easily and resolve quickly (that’s just one of the technical hurdles one can encounter with QR).  It did, but to my demise, it took me to their standard homepage, not to a mobile optimized site.

So I recommended to redirect to another page, or at least to add information near the QR so that the user would at least know where the QR was taking him/her before scanning it.  Today our account manager showed me the proof of the publication, with information that was related to a specific promotion, followed by the QR. My first thought was: ok, our customer understood what we meant and adapted his content accordingly. But unfortunately the QR would still direct me to their same general website.

What could I do except reiterate our first advice… And wisely enough, their marketing manager decided to leave out the QR code completely. Which, given the timeframe for the publication, was the right thing to do.

QR can definitely and effectively make a ‘bridge’ between print and mobile web, if used correctly. But just like with any  new or existing medium or communication technique, think about what you want to achieve and make sure it contributes to a better user experience. Especially in these ‘always on-always connected’ times where failure to deliver can result in instant punishment with #fail hashtags on twitter or other social media sites.

If you want to read a good article about what works and what doesn’t with QR, check out this post by Eric Anderson published on iMedia




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