According to the Mayan calendar, the world is slated to end in 2012. While the timing of our demise may be up for debate, one trend that will see its decline in 2012 is mobile tagging as we know it. More specifically, it will be the year that marketers finally concede that QR codes just do not work, and alternatives, like mobile visual search (MVS), will begin to flourish.
QR codes, despite being in many storefronts, magazines, and subway stations, are a dying medium. Marketers’ best efforts to force this technology on consumers have met with marginal success and have not gained much traction with the general public. According to a study by comScore last year, 14 million American mobile device users have scanned a QR code. When you consider that the U.S. has a population of more than 308 million, this means that less than five percent of the American public has scanned a QR code.
Inadequate technology, lack of education, and a perceived dearth of value from QR codes are just three of the reasons mobile barcodes are not clicking with Americans. The great news for marketers is alternatives like MVS are available to deploy today.
MVS is far more compelling and interactive as a means to enable mobile marketing and commerce. In an increasingly mobile world where instant gratification is the norm, taking the extra step of finding a QR code scanner on your mobile device in order to engage with a brand does not make sense anymore. With MVS, instead of having to scan those square blobs of code, you can simply point at a product or logo and shoot a picture with your smartphone’s built-in camera. Within seconds, the MVS application will provide product or company information, or even the option to make a purchase right then and there on your mobile device.
MVS is a safer and more secure technology that can provide more information and content than a QR code, without as many security risks. Attackers can put a Trojan or virus in a QR code, and marketers are also at risk of having their legitimate ads covered with a sticker with an infected QR code. In contrast, by focusing on real world objects and images rather than code, MVS eliminates the ability to subject users to a virus or Trojan attack.