This is a QR Code I created that directs to my Facebook Page.

Have  you been playing with the idea of using QR Codes to market your business?  QR Codes have been around since the 1990’s but it was not until about 2 years ago that marketers in the US started to look into them and even more recently they have been springing up all over the place. Business cards, print advertisements and posters in store windows are just some of the places you might have seen these odd looking boxes.

While QR Codes may just be the key to tying offline and online marketing together, there is still a lot to learn on how to properly utilize this technology. Here are the top 3 mistakes that companies are making with QR Codes and how to fix them:

1. Directing consumers to a regular website.

Sure you want consumers to follow your QR Code to your website to learn more about you, your company and the products or services that you provide. However, have you considered that perhaps your website may be hurting your conversion rate from QR Code marketing? You see when someone scans a QR Code they are doing so from their mobile device. This means they will be directed to the URL of your choice (most likely a website or product page) on that same mobile device. If your website is not optimized for mobile use you could just be upsetting and frustrating mobile users rather than converting them


Be sure that the url you are directing to is optimized for mobile use. If you are directing them to your website you will want to get a mobile website set up so mobile users can easily navigate and get the important information you want them to find. (P.S. Stellar Media Marketing can design a mobile site for you. (Check out our services page for details)

2. Not thinking big enough

More and more businesses are starting to adapt this CR Code technology to get people to their website. This is a great start but you should not stop there. Believe it or not there are a ton of great things you can share with the use of a QR Code.

THE FIX: Here is a list of just some of the uses for a QR Code:

  • Sign up for About.me and create an online business card. You will be able to share more about yourself like your web links, social networks a bio and a picture. About.me will then generate a QR Code for you and even give you a FREE starter offer to have cards made through Moo.com. This way when people scan your QR Code on your business card they can learn a ton more about you then what can fit on a little card.
  • Product Demos: Did you know that you can have QR Codes direct to a video? It’s true! Just think of the advertising and trade show possibilities. You can have an ad of a product and a CD Code directing a consumer to a product demo video. What a great way to show your product in action from a print ad or catalog!
  • Give away something of value to better encourage people to scan your QR Code. Last time I was in the Denver Airport I saw an ad from First Bank. It was a large poster with a QR Code telling people they can download one of two choices of ebooks. Classics like Gulliver’s Travels or something like that. When you scan the book you want to read you will also see ads for First Bank. This is a great idea since most people in an Airport are happy to have something to read and it gives the brand a way to get in front of consumers in a new way.

3. Putting CR Codes where they don’t belong.

I know you are probably very excited to get out there and try the CR Code technology in your marketing campaign but be aware…there are places where they are not that effective. Here are some places QR Codes just don’t belong:

  • Online: Why would you put a QR Code on a website or social network when the user is already online. You are basically asking them to get out their phone, scan the QR Code and go to your link or whatever you are directing them to from their phone. It would be easier for the user who is already online to click on a link. There are some exceptions to this but in general it is not the best use for QR Codes.
  • In a TV commercial: It is unlikely that someone will be able to get their phone out open the application for scanning a QR Code and then scanning the QR Code in the very brief amount of time you would have it on the screen.
  • Anywhere where it would be better to just spell it out. If you are using a QR Code to point people to information that is just as easy to read in an ad then there is no point and you are not creating any kind of value. In other words, just because it is a great technology, does not mean you have to use it everywhere.


What has your experience with QR Codes been? Let us know in the comment section below. Also we now offer customized QR Codes with every mobile website we build so contact us today to learn more!