QR Codes – who’s really using them?

QR code by QRPhoria

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QR codes are a great conduit for connecting a static image to digital information; but does this technology benefit business?  And who’s using it?

Quick Response (QR) Codes were created by a division of Toyota Motor Company in 1994 to track automobile parts, a component of Toyota’s “lean manufacturing system”.  Today, however, it’s widely used for marketing applications that use smartphones as the vehicle to convert a visual image into online information.

It’s all kind of cool actually; if only more people were using it.

A recent report by dubitresearch suggests the small consumer usability of QR Codes could be tied to the fact that people just don’t recognize it as a marketing form.

“Our research questioned 1,000 teens aged between 11-18 years of age with an equal balance between gender and age. When shown an image of a QR code only 43 per cent correctly identified that it could be read by a mobile phone while 19 per cent admitted they didn’t know what it was. Eight per cent of girls suspected it might be a magic-eye picture.”

While the percentage of those surveyed who correctly identified the QR code was small, some of those surveyed did recognize what it was and more importantly – what it did. Inspiringly; of those – 74% had a positive feedback after using the code (props to that marketer!).

So what does this mean?

Well – if you are going to start using the QR Code medium as part of your local marketing strategy; plan to invest some marketing real-estate in educating and guiding the user on what the code does, and what they could expect to see. Consumers will eventually get it.

About Chris Sheehy

Rhode Island SEO and local internet marketing specialist at Sidewalk Branding Company - http://sidewalkbranding.co
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