According to a Pitney Bowes Inc. report, Quick Response (QR) codes are gaining increasing acceptance among consumers in North America and Europe. QR code usage as reported by more than 5,000 consumers surveyed stands at 15 percent on average and at 27 percent for consumers 18 to 34 years old. Such were the findings of research commissioned by Pitney Bowes and delivered in the QR Code use report.
There are two compelling elements of this emerging marketing tool. First, it crosses traditional and digital channels, adding value to both marketing avenues and is delivered through a mobile channel which is fast becoming the preferred channel among consumers. Consumers have responded most to QR codes found in magazines, and on consumer packages and mail pieces. Once activated, the QR codes seamlessly port them to a digitally enhanced customer experience. The payoff for consumers may be special coupons, more technical information, a loyalty reward or any number of intelligent interactions.
Second, QR codes, when implemented as part of a cohesive marketing campaign are highly measurable. As marketers experiment with applying big data to marketing campaigns, QR codes give a transparent view of a customer as they travel across channels on their way (hopefully) to a transaction or, at least, to a delightful customer experience.
According to Forrester Research, in 2012, only 1 percent of adults in the U.S. with a mobile phone had used a 2-D barcode reader, and in 2011, that number rose to 5 percent. The Pitney Bowes survey reports a steady rise and has QR Code usage in the US now at 19 percent.
“Consumers have become conditioned to getting things at their fingertips and QR Codes enable the coupons and deals that appeal to be easily accessible,” said Justin Amendola, vice president, global SMB digital strategy, Pitney Bowes. “As marketers move toward measuring real time results of their campaigns, QR codes deliver a few of consumers as them change lanes from one channel to another. Whether you are a local bridal shop or a multinational packaged goods brand, QR codes are a measurable new marketing tool that’s gaining traction with consumers.”
Six tips for marketers implementing QR codes in campaigns:
1. Focus on printed pieces such as magazine ads or packaging
2. Attach a message to communicate the customer value of scanning the code
3. Offer a mobile-friendly landing page
4. Use QR Codes to integrate your digital and physical marketing programs
5. Measure and analyze results
6. Acknowledge, thank and reward your customers.
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