Some marketing strategies work and some do not. Does anyone remember QR codes (Quick Response codes)? I sure do.
For a while, it seemed like anyone and everyone was scrambling to have a QR code. QR codes showed how tech savvy and up to date you were. QR codes were treasure troves of information and help to your customers. QR codes were so convenient because all you had to do was scan them with your smartphone.
So what happened?
Well, for one thing, they simply did not work. Personally, I rarely had a good experience with a QR code. That is why I simply stopped using them at all, as have most people. Scott Stratten makes the same point in his new book, QR Codes Kill Kittens: How to Alienate Customers, Dishearten Employees, and Drive Your Business Into the Ground (John Wiley and Sons, 2014) [What a great name for a book!]:
“[At best,] 3.6 percent of people scan QR codes.” (p. 53)
That is not exactly an avalanche of users.
Not everything we try in the business world is a success. Some of what we try fails. I would say QR codes are among the failures.
It was an interesting experiment, but let’s learn what we can from that failure and move on with the things that do work.