The marketing industry seems to be shifting its attention from going geo-loco to going QRazy over the latest shiny new object: QR Codes.
QR Codes are being scattered across marketing efforts like rice at a wedding. They're being used in ads, on billboards, as avatars, magazine art and t-shirts to name just a few applications.
There are some very practical uses for QR Codes, including museum docents, real estate assistants and cause marketing advocates. It offers consumers instant gratification, the opportunity to connect with a brand and the entertainment of discovery.
Utility vs. Trendy
My issue is with the large number of QR Codes pushed out by marketers that are technology for technology's sake. For example, if a brand is using a QR code just to push consumers to their web site, I'm told UR Locaters do that just as easily.
And if a marketer is considering QR codes, why not barcodes? London's Gatwick Airport asked this question and decided to use barcodes and Stickybits to implement an awareness campaign around an ongoing construction project.
Gatwick Airport's agency explained their choice as follows: "There is extensive use of QR codes, but we thought at this point in time consumers would be more receptive to the type of codes they are familiar with and see in stores day in and day out. Stickybits also provided us with a ready-made solution, that was easy to manage and works."
QR codes are getting the buzz worthy of a shiny new object, but the consumer's awareness of barcodes is a great point. There is education required regardless of which you choose, but Stickybits offers the marketer a bit more flexibility and a level of engagement that QR codes seemingly cannot. Disclaimer: I've written a post on StickyBits in the past and I'm rooting for this service to get more traction along with QR codes.
There is a level of visual aesthetic you can achieve with barcodes. And using Stickybits you do not run into compatibility issues across phones and different types of QR codes.
QR Codes are to VHS What Barcodes are to Beta?
Are QR codes and Barcodes the same as VHS and Beta? Hardly. Barcodes are simply the hard-working step child and QR codes are the sibling attending the hot parties, dressed up and getting their pic snapped on the red carpet. Look past the shiny new aura to see if QR codes, barcodes or something else might be the best tactic to support your next marketing strategy.
North Terminal Interchange uploaded by London Gatwick Airport