The efficiency of QR codes

2012_12_12_17_41_14Something for early adopters or already mainstream?

QR (Quick Response) Codes have recently popped up like mushrooms everywhere; They are on squares, buildings, chewing gum packachings, tables, and all kind of prodcuts and places. So, a couple of days ago, I was sitting with a friend and drinking coffee at one of those fancy cafés at Ku’Damm. On the table was an advertisment telling you to be social and follow them on Facebook and a bar code. I offered my friend a chewing gum and guess what was on the packaching? A Bar Code! Holly mother, are there actually people out there that have enough time over to install a bar code reader app on there phones and then even start to scan advertisement? My friend agreed with me that no one does that. But there must be a reason why those tiny little black- white things are invading our world. So how effective are bar codes?

What is a bar Code?

If you haven’t seen or heard about bar codes yet, you are probably a proof for my friends and my hypothesis that nobody cares about them anyway. I probably shouldn’t be telling you this but after reading the following lines, you will not longer belong to those innocent people that don’t know anything about bar codes. Are you sure you want to continue reading?

Reaching the traget group -The effectivness of  QR Codes in Marketing Campaings

Jorge Aura , blogging for Seeking Alpha says that “QR codes, a mobile form of barcodes, are designed to allow consumers to quickly access more information. Nowadays, many companies use this technology as an additional element in their advertising campaigns.”

So now that I know that you know what a QR code is, lets have a quick look at why firms are increasingly using QR Codes in their marketing 2012_12_12_17_56_36campaigns. Michael Garten partner at mindgruve says that they “create a more intimate experience for users as well as increase the effectiveness and response time of opt-in marketing campaigns.” He goes on that QR codes are also usefull for driving traffic to the firms website and allow for targeted marketing. But he also admits that “the technology is still very new and in most cases requires a smartphone. Marketers will also need to make sure they have a significant web presence. With this type of campaign, companies must ensure that consumers will remain engaged once they hit the landing page or the campaign is destined to fail.” Elen Bahr, posting for LaBreche, offers a somewhat less optimistic picture. She writes that “QR Codes, the most common of the mobile barcode formats, have not fulfilled their promise” for connecting marketers with their audiences. In fact, only 11 percent of the U.S. adult population uses them.”

Here some hard facts for those of you who like  numbers

“Depending on which study you read, and your target audience, QR code penetration can be 10% or less.” John Gumas

According to Jorge Aura in 2011,  “21 million consumers used their smartphones to scan a QR barcode”. He further states that number of users is expected to increase to 26 million. John Gumas, blogging for, says however that 10% or even less of the targeted audience are going to respond.

QR Codes remain some2012_12_12_17_57_30thing for the early adapters

Sounds as my friend and I were right; QR codes still haven’t crossed the Introduction stage, so recently QR codes remain somthing for early adopters. So better don’t create a bar code yet for your page unless you consider yourself a pioneer. However, wouldn’t it be funny to put a bar code on your jobb application or bag ?!

One thought on “The efficiency of QR codes

  1. Hey Annie,
    I liked the way how you tried to turn a random topic into an interesting one because you were right, I have really never thought about scanning barcodes with my phone yet and I am actually sure that I will never do it. But there probably will come the moment when I am in the same situation as you were with your friend, that I will see such a barcode on something that I eat or drink and ask myself what this actually means. And now after reading your post I noticed that I have already seen those codes but just never thought about them.
    For your next post I would give you the advice to write a bit less text or shorter paragraphs because this will attract more attention on your meaningful arguments.
    Your language is very good and shows me that you have really thought about how to develop your arguments.
    Good luck for the next post!

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