Thursday, June 9, 2011

We all want to be Famous

     The first thing I encourage each one of you to do is go to this page and read Dave Wieneke's article on the use of QR codes. Dave Wieneke is a very respected digital strategist, and knows much more about where the future of digital marketing is headed than I do. I enjoyed reading his article Which I have posted below. It is my hope you will read this post and be inspired to think about issues from another persons perspective. One thing I will keep consistent through out this blog is that it is not just important but absolutely necessary to keep an open mind and see things from other peoples perspectives. Thats all I ask. Although we may have different ideas on a particular subject we are all working towards the same common goal.

Why Marketers Shouldn't Waste Their Time With QR Codes

     Wieneke makes two interesting points when he says that we are falling victim to the "overuse of a new technique, which is nothing new," and that "QR codes can actually impede the conversation. He compares QR codes to mini-disc's, which never caught on, but ends his article by saying that they do offer some benefits, such as displaying boarding passes on smart phones to ticket readers.  

     There are definitely some points where I agree with Wienenke. For the most part, QR codes are rather dull and drab looking and do not excite there audience visually. Though, such as the one I have posted above, certain companies have started to come out with more appealing looking codes. Wieneke says in his article that he would rather use a 30 ft. rat, like the one he sees on the street, to advertise than a QR code because it "made the moment memorable and created an instant connection between the protesters and me." I think a 30ft. rat my grab my attention too, but when I asses the situation from a different perspective, such as a female (sorry for the generalization), a large rat might be very off putting. Wieneke is correct in his statements about the ability for a 30ft. rat to attract attention, when he is the target market, do you agree? So, we would be in agreement that there are many different target markets? And you would agree that QR codes reach some demographics better than others? My final question would be, perhaps QR codes are not meant to target men in Wieneke's demographic....

    I will spare you the Socratic method and give a little bit about my perspective on QR codes. I would love to hear what you think. Personally, I feel that "creating an instant connection," between consumers and your brand is the job of advertising. Otherwise, you might as well be selling your competitors product. Where Wieneke and I see differently, is in our generational ideologies. I on one hand, am referred to by your marketing research companies as a digital native. I remember the enjoy of unwrapping that first ipod! the tears of happiness over my first iphone! And with that, the curiosity involved with and satisfaction that came from snapping a pic of my first QR code. I love QR codes because they are new and different. Most of the time I don't even care what company they are for because I am so excited about utilizing the new technology that I have access to. It fulfills the most sought after human desire, importance. QR codes make people feel like they are taking part in the advertising process and doing so on their on accord; which is the most important way to get people involved. We  don't want to sell people products, we want them to buy products. 

     The next thing I noticed in the article was his statement that: "First, you have to assume not everyone knows what they are, so you have to explain how they work." My comments once again go back to the issue of segmentation and importance. As a 22 year old male, I am constantly, where I admit it or not, trying to out do others. The possession of knowledge is one of the ways that this can be accomplished. say for example, I meet a cute girl with a new iphone that does not know how to work it, but I have the knowledge and ability to show her how. In turn she becomes intrigued. That is a playful example, but the again humans always have alternative motives. Like J. Pierpont Morgan observed, a person usually has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good and a real one. My point here is that there is a group of people out there who ARE interested in QR codes and will take the responsibility upon themselves to self educate. And personally I do not feel like it is that strenuous of a process: download the app once, when you see a QR code open the app and point it at the code, it does the rest for you. Is the American public really that helpless? Even if QR codes are replaced by some cooler, faster, and easier technology in a few years they can still be used right now to target a niche market; which is necessary in this era of advertising and marketing. 


1 comment:

  1. First, let me describe one of the things I love about QR codes -- anyone can use them. They're not confined to marketers. And there is something liberating in both sides of making that connection.

    Also, I like that they can simplify life, providing data for contacts, or background tagged items in the environment.

    One issue I have is not with QRs but with marketers, who over-rely on the novelty of seeing a QR, and put it out with little message or offer. Marketers should not waste their time by using QR codes in anything less than an inspired way...because its asking for significant trust by a viewer.

    We're both digital natives. Granted, my natives had the thrill of building computers from parts, buying AppleIIs, writing running code. I published a chain of tech magazines in my 20's. I think we both use our tech for identity and utility, and recommend the Slideshare "How to Date a Geek Girl" for your amusement.

    You're true to your early adopter roots, which makes you part of a tribe I trace heritage to. And if you dig the QR, then firms going for your demo need to be smart about connecting them to good mobile content and earn your delight.

    But in my experience and a view of still too insufficient data, the QR code hasn't crossed the chasm to the middle market - which is starved of attention to ante-up for a connective process that is still often slow and dependent on the environment. And which often doesn't explain the benefit of clicking until after the click.

    The good I try to bring firms is conceptual space to nail a few technologies really well - and my foe is the SplinterNet where there are 200 techniques available, and each has an advocate to heavy-in just a bit more.

    My advice is to use the QR code if it helps viewers, but to recognize that it is limited to a segment of those with inclination and opportunity, and that novelty is finite.