Scan that code for  a shortcut to information.

If you raise the subject of QR codes among tech early adopters, you are likely to elicit a passionate response. Some people think QR codes, those scanable black and white squares on everything from billboards to product packaging, are on an unstoppable growth trajectory, while skeptics are quick to dismiss them as a fad.

This reaction is common whenever new technology formats or standards are being decided upon. Pundits want to exhibit their knack for predicting the future and stakeholders (of which I am undeniably one) want to make sure their format wins out. The general public, meanwhile, tends to lay in wait for a particular format to show dominance…

QR codes, in particular, make great fodder for debate because the codes are inherently big and ugly. So far, they have not experienced the same popularity in North America as they have enjoyed abroad, in part because many consumers are still getting used to seeing these codes and figuring out what to do with them.

Whether you are a fan or critic of QR codes, one thing is certain: Real world hyperlinks are here to stay. QR codes are just one of the many linking possibilities, but they are popping up everywhere – across all verticals and businesses of all sizes. The popularity of QR codes will continue to gain momentum. Moving forward, the catalyst for their success will ultimately lie in the creative ways they are implemented.

Marketers have the ability to reach their mobile customer base in a way that wasn’t possible before. They need to reward consumers for helping blaze this new trail. The results will be captivating.