What is a QR Code? “Quick Response Code” is that weird looking square bar code you’ve probably seen in print ads or on a postcard, and for half of you, maybe even have scanned (per eConsultancy). A user can scan this bar code with a smart phone and be taken to a landing page to take a specific action.

A few months ago, Forbes Magazine proclaimed QR Codes dead, but are they really? Like many new tech trends, the world may have moved too quickly and customers may have dismissed their usage too quickly to really allow marketers to embrace them properly.

3 Reasons QR Codes Are Cool In Theory

#1 They are Easy for User To Take Action. If executed properly, a QR Code added to a print campaign can improve engagement and drive prospects to take an action. This should be super easy for the user. After all, “Quick Response,” should be just that. So offer a coupon or promo code, show a quick informational video, or promote a specific event.

#2 Those Likely to Scan are a Desirable Market. The demographics (per Comscore) of QR Code scanners are young (25 – 34 year olds are most likely) and affluent (at least $75K household income).

#3 They are Measurable. To measure and improve results is always a good marketers’ formula for successful campaigns.

3 Reasons QR Codes Have a Bad Rap

#1 Mis-use by Marketers. When they were new and shiny, many marketers used and are still using QR Codes on anything and everything – more traffic, right? Wrong. Unless the code went to a solid mobile site that had a clear purpose and positive user experience, users realized the destination was not worth the trouble.

#2 There is No Standard. There isn’t just one popular QR Code app, there are a ton of them! Since they don’t come installed on most smart phones, one must go and download one, and many people simply will not bother.

#3 They Are A Hassle. If you’re on the go and are compelled to take the action described around a QR Code, you have to find your phone, unlock it, swipe to find the your QR reader app, hold the phone to the code and scan it, and hope your data connection isn’t too slow.

Bottom line, QR Codes, when done well, provide benefit to marketing and consumer. The debate will not be settled until the next new technology takes the world by storm, and nobody remembers the “QR… What, Now?”