The QR code, that infamous fad of the early 2010s, will probably never have a marketing renaissance.

Despite articles being published almost every year like clockwork predicting or announcing its return; despite examples of countries (like China and Japan) where QR code technology is employed to excellent effect; and despite there being some genuinely good reasons to use QR codes for marketing (in the right way), it’s probably not going to happen.

Even if a brand came out tomorrow with a killer use case for QR codes with a smooth, seamless and logical implementation, or all the tech giants united behind them, it likely wouldn’t be enough to bring back QR codes – they just have a bad rep over here. QR codes are doomed to forever be thought of as clunky, useless, and just plain uncool.

But the fact remains that there is a genuine niche that QR codes could fill in linking the online and offline worlds – something which has innumerable potential benefits for marketing campaigns. The premise behind QR codes was never the problem; just the execution.

So, if QR codes aren’t going to fill that niche, what might? Here are six alternatives to QR codes that boast similar benefits for mobile marketing.

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