Reasons the QR code is not dead

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A premature obituary

Pity the humble QR code. Like a presidential hopeful getting flayed by a pack of power-mad Iowa farmers long before the election, the QR code is suffering the slings and arrows of marketing punditry before a majority of consumers have had a chance to waggle a smartphone over one.

QR code detractors complain that they're awkward to scan, that they too often link to useless content or are placed in useless contexts, that they're rarely accompanied by good instructions, and that they could be replaced by slicker interaction types like augmented reality or near-field communications.

All of these gripes are right. But to the extent that they're offered as proof of QR's imminent demise, they are also wrong. QR's growing pains should not be mistaken for its death throes.

I come neither to praise the QR code nor to bury it, but rather to heap on some fresh data that might help us to find a middle ground in this debate. In addition, I'll provide some actionable insights for how marketers can make QR experiences work better for consumers going forward.



tony vassiliev
tony vassiliev October 3, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Spencer, you're absolutely right. There's just been an abundance of "QR Code is dead" headlines. Maybe some actually believe it to be true or perhaps it's a hot topic so they want to improve SEO with snappy headlines. Either way I believe QR Codes will have a long and prosperous future even as new technologies (primarily NFC) take center stage. Here is my two cents on these bridging technologies in the same space:

Spencer Broome
Spencer Broome September 26, 2011 at 2:00 PM

I don't think anyone is putting the QR code to death, but many just believe it should be used in places where it is more functional.