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The Wall Street Journal’s Take on QR Codes



QR codes have been hitting mainstream a lot.  Proof?  Aside from the multitudes of companies that includes the biggest brands that use QR codes for their marketing campaign, QR codes has also been getting quite a lot of media exposure of late. From TV, cable TV, magazines, and newspapers.

The latest we have is the Wall Street Journal.  A report by Emily Glazer details the QR code efforts of Ethical Bean Coffee Co.

Ethical Bean, a three-store chain in Canada has Vancouver has placed advertisements on trains.  People who scan these codes are taken to a mobile menu, from which they can order whatever they want and it will be waiting for them when at any Ethical Bean shop.

The idea is precious.  On top of allowing people to get familiar with the company, it gives them a glimpse of its products and prices.  Not only that, it gives superior customer service by cutting the waiting time and allowing people to order their coffee while on the go.

Catering to busy people has given the company the chance to double its sales. They are not alone, Glazer writes, as other companies have also executed QR code campaigns and have seen a boost in sales.

The Wall Street Journal also gives a rundown on why QR codes work: increase in smartphone usage,

The WSJ also confirms that companies are using QR codes for their marketing on direct mail, in-store advertising, advertisements, packaging, among other to give out discounts and more information via videos and websites.

Problems still present

It is not all rosy for QR codes though.  The WSJ report outlines the problems, including:


  • Consumers who have no idea what QR codes are and how to use them;
  • A lot of competing technologies and standards;
  • The cost of running a QR code campaign, which includes the mobile website or video or whatever information you place behind it.


QR code generation should be free and easy.

These problems are easily surpassed though.  A look at the BeQRious blog posts could help you get ideas on how to educate your target market, while competing technologies is not a big problem because the QR code IS the standard and most prevalently used.

The campaign cost problem really baffles us.  It is free to use a QR code maker.  The videos, the website and other marketing materials are what you normally would use for marketing your products or business.  True, it takes a lot to be creative, but that does not mean that you have to create a QR code campaign all by itself. 

The best thing about QR codes is that it is easy to integrate with all your existing marketing campaign, it’s not like you are going to start everything from scratch.


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