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QR Codes - Dead or Alive?

Posted by Thera on June 27, 2013
QR Codes - Dead or Alive?

At BTI, we frequently come across different opinions about QR codes and their effectiveness. So, we decided to gather known industry insights to shed some light on this hot topic.

Are QR codes dead or alive? Take a look at some facts below and you decide.

QR code demographics and penetration

We’ve scanned the industry knowledge base and found some useful and valid studies that show most recent available stats from non-vendors of QR applications.

Based on a 2012 survey, almost 2 out of 4 US respondents aged 18-24 have scanned a QR code from a magazine with 25-34 years olds coming in just a little under at 36%. QR codes on printed media gain higher scan rates as compared to online presence of QR codes.

Interestingly, across both regions research continues to support print as the primary media placement for QR Code engagement. Another indication of printing trend research (released by Nellymoser ) reported that response rates are higher with QR Codes than direct mail. This report found that readers of national magazines scan QR codes at an average rate of 6.4 percent. In comparison, the average response rate for direct mail is 4.4 percent, according to the Direct Marketing Association, and the average response rate for a catalog is 4.3 percent. The report also found that codes promoted with the promise of a discount, coupon or chance to enter a sweepstakes have a higher response rate.

How do these penetration rates compare to other recent marketing initiatives – Twitter penetration? US consumer adoption of Twitter, as measured by eMarketer in 2012, amounts to 11.5% of the adult population and 14.4% of internet users.

Additionally, research by Accenture on the effectiveness of consumer engagement triggers found that one-third (33 percent) of those surveyed said they had actually interacted with the symbols while watching TV by “liking” the TV program on Facebook (20 percent), scanning a QR code (11 percent), searching for the Hashtag on Twitter (7 percent) or scanning the Shazam symbol (5 percent).

Similarly, during the 2012 London Olympics, the proportion of individuals interacting with QR Codes was 36% higher than with Foursquare.

Many QR reader app vendors report record increases in QR code scans. One vendor, ScanLife, hit 6.7 million scans in March 2013. The most scanned QR Code campaigns using ScanLife app are connecting users to product info and come from the retail industry.

According to the same Pitney Bowes study (as mentioned above), only 8% of businesses were utilizing QR codes in 2011. Now, with their growing popularity that percentage has risen to 50% in 2012! What’s in store for 2013.

Contact us today to see how QR codes can help your business.

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