Nowadays, Quick Response codes are popping up everywhere. Better known in their acronymic form, QR codes are those square, aesthetically amusing, robotic looking, two-dimensional bar codes that can be found on all kinds of marketing materials. QR codes store information, such as a website address, which the consumer can scan with their mobile device to access more information or even enter a contest. Magazines, billboards, bus shelters, subway posters, and flyers are just some of the places that the QR code surfaces. In North America, QR codes have moved out of the early adopters stage and into the early majority stage as more and more advertisers continue to embrace them. I however think QR codes are a fad and won’t stick around for long in marketing because the user is expected to be knowledgeable about the technology in order to use it.
Before we start, let’s get a little understanding about the awareness of QR codes in the North American market. About half of North Americans are aware of QR codes. Studies conducted by Ipsos Canada, Austin & Williams, and MGH all have awareness at around the 50% mark. About 28% of people have scanned a QR code with their mobile device. So many people are aware of what QR codes are, although how many people will use them? The majority of people have scanned QR codes 1-5 times, but this could be because of the novelty of scanning the code – interested more in the act of scanning than the content that awaits them.