Is the QR code already dead or is it still too soon to tell?
Remember when the QR code was going to revolutionise marketing? The technology dates back to the early 1990s and their original use was for stock checking and stocktaking but, with the growth of smartphones, the Quick Response Code would lead to Direct Mail into new areas of creativity and trackability.
However whilst smartphone penetration in the UK is over 70%, reports suggest that approximately 15% of users utilise their devices with the purpose of scannig QR codes – so is the QR dead? Perhaps it is too early to tell. Whilst marketers may assume that the QR code is self-evident, it may be that the public needs a little more persuasion or education. For too many perhaps, the QR code s simply a pretty bar code and the value to them as a consumer has not been made apparent.
And looked at from the other side, businesses need to make the most of the potential of QR codes. Simply scanning to a web page that can be accessed by any Tom, Dick or Harry adds little value to the marketing campaign or to the person scanning. Marketers need to ‘add-value’ to give the recipient of the code a reason to scan. Perhaps marketers are still failing to understand the time pressure on all consumers today. Although scanning takes very little time, that time is still competing with lots of other demands on the consumer’s day.
There are implications here for users of direct mail services – don’t think that sticking any old QR code to the printed item will add value to the campaign.
A recent study carried out by Pitney Bowes on the subject of QR code usage amongst consumers revealed that individuals in the US were the most likely to have utilised the technology, compared to those in the UK, France and Germany. A total of 3000 subjects were included in the research, 1000 from Europe and 2000 from the US, with the Americans being more likely to use every available medium in which the QR codes were delivered.
And it may well be true that what the US does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow, so it may well be that, like Mark Twain’s, the death of QR code has been exaggerated.
Image Credit: C_osett