I read an article today on Business Insider that QR Codes are dead. Many chambers of commerce and business associations haven't even started using them yet.
The article does have some good points about QR codes sometimes being awkward to use. And as a call to action in an advertisement, they may not be as effective as hoped.
However, there are many more uses for QR codes than in advertising. Ticket confirmations, contact information on business cards, product information, mobile optimized web forms and many more can be great conveniences if accessed via a QR code.
And, there are plenty of ways chambers of commerce can use QR codes - and many other social media technologies - to create exposure for their members and demonstrate value.
At the core of this issue for chambers of commerce and business associations is this question: "Which new technology should we adopt and when should we adopt it?"
I think that chambers of commerce should experiment with as many new technologies and social media tools that they can. Yes, this can be time consuming sometimes. But running the new technology through some filters can help set priorities.
- Can our organization use this technology to help improve member satisfaction/retention or increase new member sales?
- Will our members or target audience know how to use this new technology? (How much will we need to educate our audience?)
- What is the staff time required to implement this new technology?
- What might we need to stop doing in order to use this new technology?
If you can create a moderate impact with little staff time, I say "Go for it!" even if you're a little unsure about the long-term benefits. Your chamber will be viewed as more progessive because you are trying new things and "staying up with the times."
Of course, you'll need to eventually evaluate the effectiveness of the technology or tool to make sure you and your members are getting benefits. But, there will always be new technologies to evaluate and work into your communications, too!
Is your organization using QR codes? What other technologies or social media tools are you considering that you haven't implemented yet?