QR Codes: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

QR Codes aren’t new but they’re becoming more mainstream now. Many brands and destinations are using them effectively but users’ expectations are starting to change.

What are they?

A QR Code (Quick Response Code) can be scanned by a smart phone and will take the user to a website, a vCard or compose an email. Most of the uses I’ve seen take users to a website. For some basic QR Code tips, check out this #tourismchat highlights post on QR Codes.

How to use a QR CodeQR Codes 341/365

Don’t just slap a code on something. Even though QR Codes are becoming more and more mainstream, it’s essential to provide some type of educational steps for those users who have never seen a QR Code before. Even if it’s a one-liner that says “Scan this with your smart phone.” If you have more room, tell users to download a QR Code reader on their smart phone.

How are brands using them? (the Good)

One of my all-time favorite stores, The Home Depot, uses QR Codes on their flowers and plants. Scanning the code takes you to a site that lists more information about the plant, such as the light, water and spacing needed. Check it out yourself! Click on the photo for a larger image.…

#tourismchat Highlights: QR Codes

The October 13 #tourismchat discussed QR Codes and their use in the tourism industry. Take a few minutes to read the entire chat transcript. For a condensed version, here are my highlights:

What’s the most creative use you’ve experienced with QR codes in tourism?

  • @maddenmedia  I’ve seen them used on visitor signs to download maps of the area, especially for hikers.
  • @JoeGiessler We’ve incorporated our ‘hi’ logo into some QR code designs & used it on banners at trade shws to link to FB/mobi site
  • @TomMartin on personalized DM: scan>>personalized microsite w/personalized video inviting MP to host meeting in city
  • @WhosYourAnnie I love the @VisitSanAntonio River Walk QR Code tours: http://t.co/cFcTvlTj
  • @thompsonpaul using a QR code to visitor content/apps on the door of a Visitor Info Centre for when they’re closed
  • @WhosYourAnnie here are a few other QR Code/tourism examples via @travel2dot0: http://t.co/SFg5Waiy
  • @JoeGiessler An Ohio wine fstvl used them at lines so ppl could get info on the winery they were ab to try while waiting

What’s the most creative use of QR codes in non-tourism campaigns?

Have you used QR Codes before? Where?…

QR Codes in the Tourism Industry

Last week’s #tourismchat was on QR Codes and how they can be used in the tourism industry. If you have time, you should definitely read the full chat transcript. We were lucky to have two extremely knowledgeable people participating on this chat: John Foley (@johnfoleyjr) and QReate & Track (@QReateAndTrack).

Here are some of my takeaways:

  • QR codes can link to anything. Some link to targeted landing pages. Others link to an email address/contact info. The options are endless and can include videos, maps, photo galleries, text-messaging opt-ins, etc.
  • If you’re linking to a site, make sure it’s a mobile site…