QR codes have lingered on the edge of the marketing spectrum for a long time. Making some cool appearances along the way, but never really nailing Europe in the same way they did Asia. There have been a number of reports of the little block barcode’s demise. However, we look at the alternatives and debunk the myths of these app based phone codes.

qr_codes QR Codes - The reason they're still around


NFC was touted as a replacement for QR Codes as they can be used for a number of handy uses. However, though they can be used for payments and unlocking rooms, they don’t have a print or visual element and so would never replace QR codes.

 QR Codes - The reason they're still around

NFC are physical hardware and are too expensive to place in everyday items for scanning such as magazines. It is also impossible to use NFC via the web like a QR code. QR Codes can also be created easier.

They also offer a call to action. The automatic response when you see QR Codes is to take a picture of them – this is part of the social marketing. QR Codes don’t offer all the abilities of NFC, and so we see them working together like ebony and ivory.


Augmented reality offers a combination of the real and augmented world. With this medium you can hold your phone up to the world and receive all sorts of data on the world around you. Apps such as Layar and others provide this information, using companies like Yelp for instance to offer information on restaurants. However, like NFC there is no call to action or visual element to do so and so they just won’t replace QR Codes in such an incidence.

Google Goggles and Image Recognition

Sites such as Google Goggles allow you to take photos of anything you like and offer you information on the recognised object. Hold your app up to a Hellman’s Mayo bottle and it will search for that exact product – smart eh? One problem again is the lack of a call to action via a visual element.  There may also be a requirement of instructions on what to do to achieve a desired result – something QR Codes doesn’t have to worry about as it is all displayed on screen after you take an image.

Jag Lag

This service is there to offer a similar barcode service to those who don’t have smart phones with apps. It involves taking photos of barcodes and then texting or emailing the image. Very cool and also smart. However, do people without smart phones want to interact with their phones? They would have probably made the leap to smart phones if they have a tendency to engage with a smart phone. By not having such a phone they just be part of a demographic that doesn’t care of technological breakthroughs such as Jag Lag, leaving the service in the minority.

Do you need help with integrating QR codes into your social media marketing strategy? Get in touch today!