QR Codes to Gain Traction as Smartphone Use Increases

QR codes, one of the hot marketing stories of last year, are gradually gaining consumer acceptance. Marketers are discovering that consumers tend to use QR codes most frequently qrcode2when they find them in magazines. In addition, with younger consumers most apt to try QR codes, marketers may want to expand their use of this format  for the future.

Pitney Bowes reports that about 19% of consumers in the U.S. currently use QR codes. But the numbers are much higher in specific formats and age groups. For example, about to 39% of 18 to 24 year-​olds use the QR codes they find in magazines. For this younger demographic, QR code use levels by media format look like this:

  • Poster 35%
  • Mail 38%
  • Packaging 32%
  • Website 21%
  • Email 14%
  • TV 9%

In most cases, the younger demographics have a higher rate of QR code use. However, 25 to 34 year-​olds have a slightly higher tendency to scan these codes when they see them in email (16%) and TV (12%).

Pitney Bowes analysts contend that QR codes are no longer a  novelty or a niche tool. With the ownership of smartphones continuing to expand, consumers will be more likely to use the devices to access content that they are truly interested in. These analysts also remind marketers that they should strategize about the most effective use of QR codes. Some of the best applications involve allowing users to bridge the physical to the digital world. At the same time, the codes should also be logically integrated into the larger marketing campaign.  Pitney Bowes wisely advises that “One channel triggers another – but all are coordinated and all are designed to add value to the consumer.”

[Source: Getting Ahead of the Emerging QR Code Marketing Trend. Pitney Bowes​.com. 2013. Web. 21 Feb. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.