Over the past few years, there have been many naysayers regarding the use of QR codes in marketing to drive mobile engagement – I was one of them. I, like many, was initially excited by the novelty of using the camera on my smartphone as a scanner. After a couple of lackluster experiences, however, where my scanning efforts were rewarded only by being directed to a company’s homepage, I began to think QR code scanning was a waste of my time. It was only after a couple positive experiences with QR codes that I have begun to change my mind.

Despite the fact that many people now believe that using QR codes in marketing is a dying practice, these unique scannable images remain a great way to encourage people to interact with a product or with point of sale signage. The creative use of multimedia content that can be triggered by a QR code can deliver awesome branded mobile experiences that get people talking. With the continuing growth of mobile marketing and local search, it’s only a matter of time until marketers find even more exciting reasons to get folks to whip out their android or iOS device and scan QR codes.

It’s great to see companies small and large having “ah ha!” moments and understanding how using QR codes to provide engaging mobile customer experiences can have a measurable impact on driving revenue. A recent ScanLife report noted a 45% rise in QR code and UPC scanning this past Black Friday compared to 2011. While it’s possible that this rise might be somewhat attributable to increased access to mobile devices, I’m betting that it’s more likely that marketers have begun to create campaigns that provide true ROI to the mobile user. These returns are delivered to in the form of fun, interesting customer experiences, and coupons or rebates.

I had an experience scanning a QR Code recently that led me to buy a product that was $4.00 more than the similar products near it on the shelf. The QR code brought me to a YouTube video that was a simple, short and to the point “how to” video for their product. Of all places, I was at Home Depot looking for a manual drain cleaner. The winning product of a few I was looking at was the RIDGID Kwik-Spin, as they had a QR Code displayed with relevant content that helped me make my decision (I had never used a like product before). The video demonstrated how easy the RIDGID product was to use and I grabbed one and walked to the register.

QR Codes are alive and well…at least until NFC becomes ubiquitous in the US smartphone market.

Do you have a recent experience that made a QR Code scan worth your time? How do you drive engagement via QR Codes?