Corporate Eye

QR Code Scanning Skyrockets up 4549 Percent in Q1 2011

Are you using QR codes in your marketing programs yet (see the explanation at the end of this post if you’re not familiar with QR codes)? If new research from Mobio Identity Systems is accurate, then you can probably assume that your customers are scanning QR codes already.

The Mobio study reports that QR code scanning was up by 4,549% in the first quarter of 2011. That’s right — 4,549%. Following are some of the most interesting statistics from the study.

Guess who is scanning the most QR codes?  Adults between the ages of 35-44. That segment of the population accounts for 24% of all QR code scans.

Gender matters, too. Mobio found that 68% of QR code scans are done by women.

Currently, only 6% of QR code scans are done for payments, but you can bet this statistic will grow in the near future. In Q1 2011 one QR code scanning purpose dominated: approximately 9 out of 10 QR code scans were done to get more information about a product or service.

Where are people finding the QR codes that they scan? 70% of QR code scans are done from social media, 22% from television, 4% from ambient media and the world around them, and 3% from online (not social media).

Once a QR code scanner, always a QR code scanner. According to the Mobio report, 62% of people who scan QR codes don’t just scan once. They’re repeat scanners.

So what can marketers and brand managers take away from this study? Five important findings include:

  1. QR code marketing initiatives aren’t just for the young demographic as many people think. Targeting 35-44 year old smartphone users should be part of your strategy if that audience is important to you.
  2. Women make the majority of purchase decisions, and they are the biggest users of QR codes. Target them!
  3. QR code campaigns are primarily informational in nature today. That shouldn’t be all they are tomorrow. Work to find new ways to connect with your target audience through the flexibility inherent to QR codes.
  4. As more and more people start scanning QR codes as part of their everyday lives, it’s likely that scans will happen in more diverse places. For now, focusing on social media placement is a good place to start.
  5. Consider rewarding loyal QR code scanners with exclusive offers, a VIP club, and more not only to just keep them happy but also to motivate them to buy and talk about your QR codes, brand, and business with their own online and offline connections.

What is a QR Code? A QR code (quick response code) is shown in the image at the beginning of this article. QR Codes hold a lot of information (similar to bar codes on retail products) and can be scanned using smartphone devices like the popular iPhone and Android devices. Once scanned, QR codes can send people to websites, provide information, offer discount codes, and more.

Are you using QR codes in your marketing yet? Leave a comment and share your thoughts about QR codes for brand marketing.

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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+.

This is very exciting news, and summed up well in this article. However it is also important to understand the value of QR code analytics and tracking. Just like web analytics for a website, QR code analytics allows advertisers to track how people interact with their QR codes. This is valuable because it can help advertisers know which ads are effective, and which are not. Specifically, at our website you can track:

1. How many people scan your QR code. (Total number and unique scans)
2. Where people scan your barcode. (The geographic location)
3. When people scan your barcode. (Hour by hour, in real time)
4. How long individuals spend on your website after scanning your QR code.
5. Total number of website pages individuals view after scanning your QR code.
6. The bounce rate of people who visit your website after scanning your QR code.

This data is useful for anyone who uses QR codes, and can help ensure they are effectively engaging the people who are scanning the codes.

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