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QR Code Hype Exceeds Reality
Only 25% of smartphone owners scanned a QR code in the past twelve months. Of those, roughly 6 in 10 admit they only did it once. That’s because curiosity, pure and simple, is the top reason why consumers interact with QR codes.

Meanwhile, marketers are going wild with the codes. Everyone from Target to Heinz is using them. They are on ads, billboards, and even bus shelters. It’s getting hard to find a product package without a QR code on it.

Clearly there’s a vast gulf between consumers’ and marketers’ views of QR codes.

Consumers see them as a novelty that could become a habit only if they save time or money. During their initial experiments, some shoppers are put off by the logistics of downloading a scanning app. Others are disappointed when they don’t immediately get a discount for using the code.

Marketers see QR codes differently. The majority believe they are a great way to provide consumers with more information about a product or brand.

Smartphone owners and manufacturers agree that on-pack QR codes could be a powerful tool for price comparison shopping. Of course, retailers, especially those with brick and mortar stores, are less thrilled with that application.

We should think about...
  • Are we putting too much effort into QR campaigns?
  • Are our QR campaign goals aligned with how consumers view the codes?
Sources: B to B 2012, eMarketer 2012, Marketing Profs 2012
Copyright 2012. Brandology and InformAction are registered trademarks of Brandology