According to a recent report by Mobio Identify Systems, Inc., the use of QR (“Quick Response”) codes has exploded by 1,200 percent during the last half of 2010. Moms are taking center stage as they use their smartphones to click on those unique black and white squares that are delivering a wide variety of information to consumers. Blogs, tweets, magazine articles and broadcast media are all talking about this latest technology that busy moms are embracing.
QR codes have been around awhile in other parts of the world, but are just beginning to really gain awareness in the U.S. The primary benefit for marketers is that the QR codes are helping them build their mobile strategies. With 60 percent of moms owning smartphones, developing a strong mobile strategy is a must for marketers who want to reach moms in a way that is effective and relevant for their busy lifestyles.
For female consumers, the primary benefit of QC codes is their convenience. And that’s what it’s all about when marketing to moms – helping to make their lives easier. A QR code can be snapped on a smartphone camera, and instantly deliver detailed information about a product, consumer reviews, e-coupons, comparison pricing, and much more. Codes can be printed on everything from promotional materials to billboards and point-of-purchase displays. They can even be used to encourage consumers to “like” a Facebook page, deliver digital prizes, or enter sweepstakes.
A few major brands are helping to build prominence for QR codes in the U.S., including Target, Best Buy, Macy’s and Post Cereals. Best Buy has enhanced the shopping experience of its customers by adding QR codes to all their price tags. According to a recent Ad Age article, Macy’s is behind the most visible QR education effort, with a 30-second spot running nationally. The spot explains to shoppers how to use the codes, and the benefits they’ll experience once they scan one with their smart phone.
The opportunities for incorporating QC codes into marketing campaigns are endless. A QR code on a bag of pasta can be scanned to receive an instant recipe on a smartphone. A coffee retailer can offer free coffee to every 10th person by scanning the bar code at checkout. And at checkout customers can scan their QR codes to see if they’ve instantly won any additional value.
As QR codes continue to be highlighted in the months to come, the important thing for marketers to understand is how to make QR codes effective to female consumers. In addition to convenience, a primary way to make codes effective is to make sure they equate to value – a discount, a coupon, or a “sneak peak” at upcoming products.
Is this the year of the QR code for your brand?