QR Codes - Not One Size Fitz Hall

I have been meaning to write a blog post on QR codes and how to use them since I saw this poster advert whilst waiting for the Tube in London.

QR (or Quick Response) codes are increasingly being used by marketers to link the offline world to online content. Other applications such as Blippar exist that are aimed to facilitate the use of Mobile phones and tablets.

The idea behind placing the QR code on the advert is to enable me to scan it with my mobile device and to navigate me to a suitable website landing page 

However in the rush to embrace new technology it is worthwhile recalling that "Whilst the roads Marketers are getting people to travel are changing, the people travelling them (and their needs)  are not".

In the example vital aspects do not appear to have been taken into account when setting out the activity i.e.    

  1. The location of QR Code on Poster, (Bottom Left) means part of it cannot be seen or scanned 
  2. The complexity & granularity of the QR code - From a distance of 10 yards my iphone (other mobiles are available)had no chance of picking up the complex QR code.
  3. I'm on the underground and can get no mobile connection so even if I can scan the code I have no ability to accessthe designated content.

Other examples of poorly planned activity are found in this post  eConsultancy Post - 11 Dubious uses of  QR Codes

So before falling down a similar trap if you are considering running a QR initiative 3 things you should consider

  1. Plan the customer journey - try it out and see if the roads you want people to follow are clear and well lit 
  2. Include tracking code - link it in with your destination tracking e.g. Google Analytics. Include a specific source codeor medium. 
  3. Simplify the resolution - The more data you include the more complex the image. Use a URL shortened QR link

For Example both the QR codes below lead to the same destination but highlight

1- QR does not stand for QPR code
QR Code to Fitz Hall  
2- The Use of Bit.ly simplifies & enables tracking 
QR Code through Bitly to Fitz Hall
Experience is the name we give to our mistakes so don't be afriad to fail but by putting in a Do, Review, Refine mechanism you get some learnings from a campaign if nothing else.  Don't forget One Size does not Fit All.