Uwe Hook: The QR Code Reality

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Last week, comScore released data from its comScore MobilLens service, finding that in June 2011, 14 million mobile users in the U.S, representing 6.2 percent of the total mobile audience, scanned a QR or bar code on their mobile device.

The press release continues:

“The study found that a mobile user that scanned a QR or bar code during the month was more likely to be male (60.5 percent of code scanning audience), skew toward ages 18-34 (53.4 percent) and have a household income of $100k or above (36.1 percent). The study also analyzed the source and location of QR or bar code scanning, finding that users are most likely to scan codes found in newspapers/magazines and on product packaging and do so while at home or in a store.”

comScore summarizes:

“QR codes demonstrate just one of the ways in which mobile marketing can effectively be integrated into existing media and marketing campaigns to help reach desired consumer segments,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “For marketers, understanding which consumer segments scan QR codes, the source and location of these scans, and the resulting information delivered, is crucial in developing and deploying campaigns that successfully utilize QR codes to further brand engagement.”

Are we close to the age of QR codes?

Let’s look at the data:

· comScore didn’t differentiate between QR and bar code. That’s a big problem. While QR codes are seen as a promotional vehicle by customers, bar codes are regarded as information devices. Many apps rely on bar codes to deliver data: Fooducate gives customers the opportunity to scan the bar code of a product and find healthier alternatives. Red Laser helps customer to find cheaper alternatives.

· The majority of scans take place inside retail/grocery stores, followed by scanning at home. Another indication that bar code scanning trumps QR code scanning.

· The study neglects to tell us how frequently users snap the codes. This post calculates that the odds of any individual holding a smart phone actually scanning your code on a given day are .. read on.

TFA Team

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