QR Codes: Right for Your Business?

Daniel Titus

Monday, December 10th, 2012

We all experienced the hype of QR codes a while back.  They were going to be the next big thing, and all the kids were doing it.  From Ketchup bottles to Real Estate signs, QR codes were everywhere.  It was such a thrill to whip out your smart phone, hold it up to a bunch of blocks and then, all of the sudden, have information you didn’t have before.  Now, a bit of the hype has died down, and some of the interest has too.  This leaves one to wonder if QR codes ever had the potential to be good for one’s business.  Perhaps the better question is, Should my business use QR codes?

What is a QR Code?
First let’s understand the grammar a little more.  A QR code (or Quick Response code) is simply a matrix barcode with embedded information and commands.  It signals to a device to do something or go somewhere or display something.  In this manner you can have (or be or see) something on your device without having to manual enact all of the steps to accomplish it.  This both quickens and clarifies the process.

It’s no wonder that everyone got so excited when these began to hit the market at large.  The ability to transfer information in a fast, accurate and easy way is quite valuable.  I wish I could just show my kids a barcode and have them do what I want!  However, the question remain, Should my business use QR codes?  As is usually the case, there are both good reasons and bad reasons to do something.

Bad Reasons to Use a QR Code

  • Gotta Keep Up

My grandmother has a Facebook account.  No one is impressed that you have a QR Code.  In fact, if you have one that you are not utilizing, then it will soon lead to disappointment for both you and your potential clients.

  • Redundancy Can’t Hurt

This takes a good concept of providing multiple avenues to one desired location and instead, confuses it’s seekers with repetition.  If your QR Code takes you to your website, it really does not need to be displayed on your website.

  • Let’s Try it for a Little While

Hype or no hype, QR codes are going to be around for a while.  And as long as they are in print or on display, they will be scanned.  When they are, you had better have an active page or some pertinent information for them to display.

When using QR codes you should remember that the target for whatever you’re transmitting is more than likely a smart phone.  Whether you are going from desktop or from print or even from television, you are going to smart phones.  So, give information and commands that are useful on a smart phones.

Good Reasons to Use a QR Code

  • Add Contact to Phone
  • SMS (or Text Message)
  • Downloads (App or mp3)
  • Online Forms
  • Facebook Like
  • FourSquare Checkin
  • Map Location
  • Website Link

Whether you are leaving a message that you are out of the office or passing out the most convenient business cards in the room, odds are that QR codes can easily help your business transfer information quickly and clearly.

About Daniel Titus

Daniel Titus is the owner and principal designer of DanielTitus.com (a graphic design and web development company). He considers himself to be a storyteller, an artist, a geek and a family man all rolled into one. You can read more from Daniel on his weekly blog: DanielTitus.com/blog