Are QR Codes Right For Every Business?

QR codes are everywhere but how well do they work? If you own a business, that question has likely crossed your mind a few times.  The answer depends on who you ask and how they’re being used. Before you run off and get a QR code added to your vehicle decal, signage, table stand, or business card, make sure this tool fits with what you’re trying to accomplish and that you’re doing it right.


Who is your target market?

That is always first and foremost who you should be thinking of as you consider products, advertising, or anything that relates to your brand’s perception. Justin Amendola, VP of global SMB digital strategy at Pitney Bowes said “We have seen a huge increase in the rate of scans in the mobile market over the past year in the U.S.” What he said next should not be taken for granted. He said “QR codes also answer a need for consumers who have become conditioned for instant gratification to get information wherever they are.”

That may or may not describe your target market. Not everyone is a gen y’er hardwired for “I need it now or I’m outta here.” If your market is mainly 40+ and blue collar, you may have a hard time getting any results from a QR campaign. Why? Because many in this group resist technology. That’s how it pays (and saves!) to consider your market before taking on a new tool or technique. After all, it’s all about your customers and what works for them.


Done wrong is a huge problem.

In fact if you frustrate your prospects, they’ll likely turn off their friends from your business with their tale of aggravation. How could a QR code frustrate a user? Simply not testing the link is obvious but sending them to a page that is not mobile optimized, takes forever to load, and sucks down their data plan is something too many businesses and marketers alike miss.

John Lim, CEO of Life in Mobile said “Many marketers have not learned how to truly leverage this technology.” In addition to not having a mobile site as the destination for your QR code, not having a Call To Action is another mistake. Yes, people with smart phones and QR code scanning apps do know what to do but you need to make it clear why they should do it.

A strong CTA like “Scan here for a special (or exclusive) discount” tells them what and why. That can be the difference between sale or no sale. It’s still up to the strength of your offer and the sales copy quality.


While QR codes are a great tool, so is a screwdriver. Neither are meant to be used for every job or by every person. And using either of them used in the wrong way or in the wrong hands can lead to a painful lesson.


Let me know what your thoughts are. If you’d like to learn more about how QR codes may work for your business, contact me.

About The Author

Rob Calhoun

+ Rob Calhoun Helps small to medium businesses succeed by building systems for them that help them get new customers, retain customers, and re-energize past customers. Rob helps clients and marketers maximize the return they get from their online marketing efforts.


  • harish

    Reply Reply March 12, 2013

    the QR Code system has become popular outside the automotive industry due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes

    • Rob Calhoun

      Reply Reply March 12, 2013


      Nice to see you again. It’s funny how a seemingly insignificant technology for one area can revolutionize another.

      By the way, why don’t you have a gravatar yet?

    • Kamil

      Reply Reply March 17, 2013

      As for many businesses that I encountered, as long as you have young and tech savvy people as your target market, you can never go wrong with this…

      • Rob Calhoun

        Reply Reply March 21, 2013


        Never say never. Murphy’s law is universal!

  • Marc

    Reply Reply March 26, 2013

    The technology of these codes is crude, and we need to develop something more universal and perfect.

    • Rob Calhoun

      Reply Reply March 26, 2013


      Technology is always evolving. Innovation never sleeps! You’re not the only one who thinks qr codes are crude. a quick google search of images for customizing qr codes shows the movement is under way to refine these ugly blocks of blocks.

  • Rauf Arshad

    Reply Reply April 5, 2013

    I will chose social media to enhace QR Codes

    • Rob Calhoun

      Reply Reply April 8, 2013


      What do you mean? Using a QR code in a post to increase the impressions or using a QR code to drive traffic to your profile/specific post?

      That definitely gets the wheels turning thinking of the possibilities.


  • Tafoor Tariq

    Reply Reply April 6, 2013

    The QR Code system is gaining popularity because of its fast readability and greater storage and most of all greater access to make them.Thanks nice post.

    • Rob Calhoun

      Reply Reply April 8, 2013


      I appreciate the comment but I only allow backlinks for people who meet the requirements of the comment policy posted below the comments section.

      Commenting Policy: Do not use just “keywords” for Name, you must leave a real name, but you can use name@keywords if you like.
      Comment must be relevant to the post and/or a comment being replied to.
      Comments without a gravatar are subject to removal of backlink and deletion.
      All comments subject to moderation.

  • Jaykrishna

    Reply Reply April 6, 2013

    technology is growing day by day…qr codes are crude….

    • Rob Calhoun

      Reply Reply April 8, 2013


      What happened to the rest of your comment?! I know your were going somewhere with that. I’d like to see where. 😉

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