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Jury's Still Out On QR Codes

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media, September 21, 2011

Also, in order to scan the code, the smartphone must be placed close to the code in order to work correctly. Unscannable codes can kill and delay the adoption rate for 2D bar code campaigns. QR codes for billboard or bus campaigns are not practical because users will have difficulty scanning.

Because the idea is relatively new in the U.S., no one at the table had hard and fast evidence about QR code return on investment. 2-D bar codes have been popular in Asia for over a decade, originally designed by a Japanese company to read at a quicker speed than conventional barcodes.

The U.S. healthcare system is working on QR code catch up.

At the end of the round table discussion we handed around business cards to keep in touch. On the back of mine is a QR code. Need I say what happened next? My peers each pulled out their smart phones to test it out.

The person to my left had trouble getting it to scan.

The person to my right had no problem scanning but the website took a while to load.

The person across from me scanned and could see the site without a problem.

That pretty much sums up the current state of QR codes. But stay abreast of these codes: they're here to stay.


Questions? Comments? Story ideas? Anna Webster, Online Content Coordinator for HealthLeaders Media, can be reached at awebster@hcpro.com.
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6 comments on "Jury's Still Out On QR Codes"


Mike Losee (9/23/2011 at 4:09 PM)
Great article and very topical points. I hosted a roundtable at SHSMD on Mobile marketing and the QR code issues of relevancy and knowing your audience were key parts of the discussion. It's great to see the SHSMD attendees emphasize that you simply can't "QR code just for the sake of QR coding". Hopefully, all of the C-suites will agree!

Zach (9/22/2011 at 2:59 PM)
Interesting article - QR codes are definitely growing in use. However, in order for them to be effective, you have to deliver quality content. Whether you are marketing your brand with QR codes, SMS short codes, or StarStar Numbers, you need to deliver your customers something valuable. Thanks for the article!

Zach (9/22/2011 at 2:53 PM)
Interesting article - QR codes are definitely growing in use. However, in order for them to be effective, quality content must be delivered. Whether you are promoting your brand with QR codes, sms short codes, or StarStar Numbers, you need to deliver something of value to your customers. Thanks for the article!