Consumer Education on QR Codes Needed

According to Nielsen, US smart phones are expected to hit 50% by the end of this year.  The growing rate of smart phones is going to help certain marketing tools gain prominence.  One of these tools is called a QR Code (Quick Response).  A QR Code looks like a small box with a strange black and white design in the middle. 

They are starting to show up on advertisements, products, and even employee lanyards.  Users point their phone or camera at the code and then receive whatever form of content the marketer has issued them.  It could be a URL Link to videos, signing up for a sweepstakes, or access to a game.  Marketers in return get to link the physical world with the digital world and offer a great direct response element to their campaign.

 As the prominence of these campaigns grow, consumers will want to explore them but it is still up for debate as to how much they will go through to use them.  The codes are not foolproof and experiences such as slow downloading time could turn off many consumers.  They must also download an app that can scan QR codes which may seem like an extra step for the fast paced consumer. 

 Marketers will need to take on the role of educating consumers about how to use them and show them enough reward to make it worth their time.  I think if you can entice the customer to respond to you directly from the physical world on your product the opportunities are endless.  Below is a video of how Macy’s used QR Codes in their Backstage Pass Campaign enticing consumers with beauty tips and videos.

Visit St. Pete-Clearwater used QR codes in one of their most successful sweepstakes ever and received more than 20% of the entries from the code.  This type of success can be translated into really any category that has some type of giveaway but we just need to make sure the consumers don’t shy away from it.


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