Thursday, October 27, 2011

Should QR codes really be labeled PLWE Codes?

Should QR (Quick Response) codes really be labeled PLWE Codes (Painfully Longwinded Experience) Codes?

Every local marketing meeting or conference that I've attended during the last 6 months has resulted in some discussion or debate about the QR code and why it's not been adopted by the NZ consumer.

I decided to ask my work colleagues what they thought of the technology and why NZers aren't using it. Prior to, I'd of course formulated my own opinion around a "lack of consumer education" and kinda believed that the only way forward was some sort of large scale PR campaign via an offline ubiquitous media.

After chatting with my peers about it, I received responses similar to the following;

"if you have to explain how to download the technology or carry out an educational….it's just too hard". Response – If it makes life easier, they'll learn and do it… case in point - the remote control.

"Why would I download the software…what does it actually offer me by way of convenience" Response – You will no longer have to type in a web URL to your phone or mobile device.
Response – When was the last time you typed in a web URL to your phone?
Response – Valid point!

"The reader technology is pants, you have to hover over the code and it often doesn't read it. Response – Rubbish…in fact utter rubbish, the I-nigma download is awesome and if anything a little too sensitive. Phooey I say to that!!

"I don't really see the point in them". Response – You need to get online and do some research and come back to this argument a little later.

"I think that this is really just ramping technology to NFC and will be adopted when it truly offers some benefits". Response – You raise an interesting point but already we are seeing that the UEM 2007 may be prohibitive to completely successful NFC technology…and that is a whole heap more consumer education that QR codes!

So in essence, I see that QR codes could work brilliantly where there are crowds, much like the RWC, which I believe was a huge missed opportunity for NZ marketers (but that's another rant!) They'll be fantastic for microsite promos, the property market – capturing codes on the fly that direct you to property online (instant grat), basically at any instance where you need to take an offline campaign online.

My personal challenge to all marketers, is to ensure you sell them at the right opportunity, add an educational to the campaign in the short term for the consumer and sell the benefits, set the expectation in the short term as emerging technology…even if they were created in 1994. One last thing, use the reporting technology online to gauge and measure response, it's cheap and useful.

My opinion…QR Code is the appropriate title.

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