QR codes look to rise from the dead - The Packer

QR codes look to rise from the dead

03/27/2014 09:09:00 AM
Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson, EditorGreg Johnson, EditorSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — I’ve tried quick-response codes on my smartphone. After scanning a few and being taken to a commercial or boring corporate website, I lost interest.

The Packer ran them in print with links to online stories and videos. Our page view tracking showed virtually no one used them, so we stopped earlier this year.

QR codes are dead.

At the recent Produce For Better Health Foundation annual conference, PBH showed some consumer survey data that reflected very poorly on QR codes.

It asked, “What would be your response to the following communication methods regarding a type of food that you or someone in your household may enjoy?”

Positively assessed methods included supermarket display signs, TV news segments and ads, social media posts, and radio news or ads.

Only one method had significant negative response: QR codes.

PBH chief executive officer Elizabeth Pivonka said the group stopped using them a year or two ago in marketing and communication because they saw few positive responses.

She’s even stopped using them as a consumer.

“I tried it and then stopped,” she said. “It wasn’t a great experience.”

I know hardly anyone who regularly uses them.

Elliott Grant and Elizabeth Pivonka talk at PBHGreg JohnsonElliott Grant, founder and chief technology officer of YottaMark, discusses QR codes and Google Glass technology with Elizabeth Pivonka, president and CEO of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, during PBH’s annual conference.I was prepared to tell readers about the how and why of the QR code’s death, but two things changed my mind:

1. The QR code timeline reminds me of Twitter.

2. I talked to Elliott Grant of HarvestMark.

When Twitter started hitting American consciousness about five years ago, it was mostly idiotic ramblings or product commercials.

When I first started using it, I was underwhelmed. I found myself using it less and less.

And then I heard a media consultant say, if you’re not getting what you want out of Twitter, you’re following the wrong people.

So I changed who I followed, and now I rarely go a day without it.

Why is it so good? It’s unfiltered, immediate and simple. And if you don’t like someone, you unfollow them as easily as you can add someone. It’s your personalized news and entertainment feed.

It has evolved into something useful, and there’s really nothing like it.

The same can be said for QR codes.

“There’s a time and place for the QR code,” Grant said. “We’re using it to communicate information shoppers sometimes want.”

Grant is the founder and chief technology officer for HarvestMark’s parent company, YottaMark, which works on the technology side of implementing QR codes and other technology.

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