In the marketing world, we call them QR codes, 2D barcodes and mobile barcodes. Consumers call them, “oh…those little black pixelated squares on the corners of magazine ads”.
Consumers may not know them by name, but they know what to do with them. A recent study found that four in five consumers know to scan QR codes when they seem them, even though the majority of those consumers aren’t familiar with the term “QR code.”
81% of consumers surveyed knew to scan the ” little black pixelated squares” with an app on their smartphones, despite the fact that they weren’t aware of the name of said “squares.”
Consumers who take action when they see QR codes? SCORE!
As a marketer and someone who built a business based on QR codes, I view consumer acceptance and engagement with QR codes as a major milestone. At one time I would’ve said that this tip in the scale equates to victory. Undoubtedly, we must see that consumers not only understand the fundamentals but take action accordingly (see code, scan code) for this whole mobile barcode thing to take off. And, ladies and gentlemen, we are getting there!
However, I’ve come to realize that consumer education and engagement is less of a scale-tipper than I’d first thought. Now I know that marketers must learn to effectively use QR codes first and foremost for this whole thing to work fluidly. I see consumers scanning frequently these days, but I also observe those consumers being disappointed in the results of those scans. I’ve been genuinely surprised by the commonality of marketers’ misfires—linking QR codes to web pages not optimized for mobile viewing, taking consumers to a home page instead of a specific product page or special offer, creating codes without tracking mechanisms.
Marketers have got to step up and do the legwork to make the gap-bridging effects of QR codes powerful. The creation and placement of QR codes is very simple to accomplish. What takes more effort is developing a strategy for mobile-friendly marketing: creating mobile-optimized websites, trimming content for on-the-go consumers, creating geotargeted campaigns and developing socially-infused messaging and meaningful click-throughs. Frankly, these are musts for anybody who sells stuff regardless of QR code use. Ours is now a social – mobile marketplace, and marketers have to step up!
If you need help not only cracking the code on QR codes but going mobile with your marketing, I invite you to contact me. I’m in the business of giving brands like yours a voice in the digital-social-mobile marketplace.
Let’s connect soon! firstname.lastname@example.org