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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : October 20, 2011

Consumers getting little reward for QR Code use

While some marketers remain undecided about the effectiveness of QR Codes, so do some smartphone users. According to a survey conducted by research firm Russell Herder over half of repeat QR Code scanners only "sometimes" feel they have received something of value for their efforts.

by Helen Leggatt

QR Codes are becoming increasingly recognizable and are popping up everywhere from magazines and newspapers to tattoos and Ferrari racing cars. Almost three-quarters (72%) of the 500 US consumers surveyed by Russell Herder said they have spotted small black and white 2D boxes yet almost 30% don't know what they are.

Younger consumers were more likely to recognize them as scannable barcodes - 80% of 18-24 year olds versus 60% of those age 45+. Furthermore, around a quarter of consumers aged18-24 has scanned a code with their smartphone, the highest rate of any age group.

But are consumers getting value from the effort it takes to scan a barcode and reach the final destination? When asked if they felt scanning a QR code was worthwhile consumers said:

• Always 3%
• Usually 28%
• Sometimes 52%
• Rarely 15%
• Never 2%

Unless marketers show some creativity in the presentation and placement of barcodes, and more importantly offer those who do interact with them something of value as a reward for undertaking the task, consumers will turn off.

"The mere employment of QR codes is not enough to drive consumer engagement and marketing results," said Carol Russell, CEO of Russell Herder. "It is important for marketers to know their audience and how they will react to this tool and, ultimately how to maximize the opportunity."

The results of Russell Herder's survey findings can be downloaded online: The QR Question

Tags: barcode, consumer engagement, mobile marketing, QR codes, survey

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