Corporate Eye

QR Code Consumer Scanning is on the Rise

qrcodeAccording to research by comScore, 14 million U.S. consumers scanned QR codes (Quick Response codes) from their mobile devices during June 2011.  That’s just 6.2% of the total U.S. mobile audience, so there is still a lot of room for growth.

The research provides some interesting demographic statistics about the people who scan QR codes. It appears that young, wealthy men are the most frequent QR code scanners.

Check out the statistics below:

  • Gender: 60.5% are male.
  • Income: 36.1% make $100,000 per year and above. Another 18.6% have incomes between $75,000-$100,000.
  • Age: 36.8% are between the ages of 25-34. The next biggest QR code scanner group is the 35-44 age range at 19.6%.

Now that you know the best audience to currently target with QR codes for maximum response, let’s take a look at the sources where people are scanning QR codes according to the comScore research:

  • Printed magazine or newspaper: 49.4%
  • Product packaging: 35.3%
  • Website on PC: 27.4%
  • Poster on flyer or kiosk: 23.5%
  • Business card or brochure: 13.4%
  • Storefront: 12.8%
  • TV: 11.7%

Another insightful part of the report tells us where people are primarily scanning QR codes. Surprisingly, most people in the study scan QR codes at home. Here is the breakdown:

  • At home: 58.0%
  • Retail store: 39.4%
  • Grocery store: 24.5%
  • At work: 19.7%
  • Outside or on public transit: 12.6%
  • Restaurant: 7.6%

It’s important to remember as you review these statistics that QR codes are still very new to most consumers. Early adopters are primarily young, wealthy men who scan QR codes from magazines while at home. However, if you base your future QR code strategic planning on those statistics, you’ll be selling yourself short.

The key to QR code success in the future is to move beyond these early adopters and motivate your target audience to scan them. That means you need to find the right motivational offers to encourage them to actually do the scan. For people who aren’t already scanning QR codes, you need to educate them about how easy it is to do so and what they get when they take a second to do the scan.

In other words, there is still an important education phase related to QR codes, and there is still much to be learned. As with all marketing, if you teach consumers the value of scanning QR codes first and then provide offers that are actually meaningful to them in places where they’re likely to see them and have an opportunity to scan them, you’ll boost your chances of success. These aren’t new marketing rules. They’ve been around for a long time. You’re just applying them to a new medium.

Have you used QR codes to promote your brand yet? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: MattsLens

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.