Why Your QR Promo Sucks

It is a common topic at conferences, the source of numerous tweets and one of the more frequent questions I get.

So, what do you know about QR codes?

Well, if you need the full explanation, I would recommend starting at Wikipedia.  For those who already know of the cute little square bar code, you have no doubt seen this ‘next big thing’ incorporated into nearly every media vehicle available.

QR Code

Look, a QR code for this article. Valuable.

And within the tourism industry, the trend is no different.

Print ads, brochures, display signage, airports, etc.  It seems the QR code is popping up everywhere we point our phones.

Although it may very well be replaced in the not-too-distant future.

But, for all of the hype around the QR code, unfortunately, many of these campaigns fall flat.

Putting technology and usability challenges aside, most instances of QR codes direct the viewer to worthless content.

For example, using a QR code to direct an OVG reader to your website.

Fantastic…and pointless.

Considering you web address is right next to the QR code, I can simply type that into my Google search app and, bam, website.  Instead of, for most smart phone-wielding tourists, snapping a picture, downloading a new app and then finding my way to your site.

Not the best use of a QR code.

If you must embrace the latest trend, at least give the user something useful, something value and please, something that is mobile friendly.

Boarding pass data, a consumer review opportunity, a link to in-depth content featuring a how-to kayaking video because I just saw your tourism ad about kayaking in the Yellowstone River.

Yes, that would be a good reason to use a QR code.

A link to your website.

Not so much.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.