QR codes, “Kinda like a box of chocolates…”

QR codes, those little square boxes of dots we see everywhere, have seen a meteoric rise in use in just the past few months. I’ve seen them on the side of buildings, on billboards, chewing gum wrappers, magazines and even on the side of Herman Cain’s bus! According to one statistic there has been a 9840% increase in the scanning of QR codes in the last quarter of 2011.


All of this has caused some concern among marketers on the usage of QR codes. Some think it’s a simple fad which should be ignored while others are intent on betting the farm. Personally, I think QR codes are here to stay and here are two reasons why:


First, we love our devices! 86% of Americans own a mobile phone. A fast-growing majority of those phones are smart phones. 1 in 4 Americans sleep with their smart phones! In fact, smart phones and mobile devices are scheduled to outsell desktop devices within the next 16 to 18 months.


Americans have a fascination with the smartphone. It does so much. Not only can I call a restaurant and make a reservation, but I can also navigate my way to the restaurant, present the waitress with a cell phone coupon, and pay for my meal with my mobile charge card when I leave. And while I’m waiting on my bill I can read a book or watch a video on my smartphone! No wonder we love our devices.


Second, we love surprises. The videos and books we love have surprise endings.  Comedy and magic are both popular because we love surprises. The college football game we remember most is the one with the surprise ending.  “We love the unexpected (even those of us who say we don’t), so much so that most of us get a bigger kick out of a surprise than we do from a good thing we know is coming.” Jennifer Strailey


That’s what is great about a QR code, you never know what you’re going to get! It’s a beautiful thing. My smart device, which I so love, contains this little scanner that I can use to click on that QR code!  I might get a video, I might get a coupon, I might get a website, I might get a click to call button, or if I’m lucky, with one scan I might get them all!


The stats from a marketing perspective are great. 65% of us report having seen or heard of a QR code. 49% of us have scanned them, and 78% of us report that we are likely to remember an ad that we got from that funny little box! It’s a great way to create direct ties to sales through mobile devices.  And for the user, in the words of a great American, “… You never know what you’re gonna get!”

If you’re interested in starting a QR code campaign of your own visit our Mobile Marketing site and learn more.

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