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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : April 14, 2011

Mobile trends: 2D barcodes more popular than 1D

More consumers are brandishing smartphones than ever before and, it seems, more consumers than ever before are using them to scan barcodes. Scanning of 2D barcodes, such as QR Codes, has overtaken scanning of 1D barcodes for the first time since the second quarter of 2010, according to Scanbuy's latest Mobile Barcode Trend Report.

by Helen Leggatt

QR code for QR code article link.pngThere are two types of barcode. There's the traditional 1D barcode generally found on packaging and the 2D barcode, or Quick Response (QR) Code, a square containing a jumbled mess of black and white blobs, used in media and marketing campaigns.

QR Code use has skyrocketed in past months. Earlier this year Mobio reported a 1200% rise in QR Code scanning.

logo-scanbuy.gifIncreased use has been driven by high profile marketing campaigns along with a rise in smartphone adoption. According to Scanbuy's latest trend report, QR Codes are now being scanned more than 1D barcodes for the first times since the second quarter of 2010.

"The fact that 2D barcodes overtook 1D barcodes in overall scans is a strong sign that 2D codes, like QR codes, are becoming more commonly adopted by both marketers, publishers and users," said Mike Wehrs, President and CEO of Scanbuy.

"We saw some fantastic results from retail, media and entertainment brands that are using our interoperable ScanLife platform. The specific results around products being scanned also shows how this can really be leveraged by brands when people are actually holding their product."

MGH_logo_inset.jpgOther research, this time from MGH Modern Marketing, found a large number (70%) of smartphone users have used, or plan to use, QR codes.

Ok, so they're popular, but how effective are QR Codes?

MGH's survey, which tested how memorable the codes were, found 72% of respondents said they would be likely to recall an ad associated with a QR Code.

"While QR Code usage is growing in popularity, it's still a relatively new marketing tactic with little to no statistics out there about how consumers are using them," said MGH president, Andy Malis.

"These results demonstrate that consumers are embracing the mobile marketing tactic, and even those who haven't used QR Codes are interested in engaging with them - for a variety of motivators that marketers should pay attention to."

QR Code use is seemingly endless and limited only by imagination. To date they've been used as temporary tattoos or built into the fabric of buildings. Check out this list of how some people and businesses have put them to use.

Tags: barcode, barcode scanning, mobile marketing, mobile trends, QR Code, smartphone

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