QR code engages [updated – August 15, 2011]

You’ve seen them around probably….the 2D QR codes. If you’ve seen them, but wondered what they are all about? Well, that’s easy: through your smartphone camera and app you take a picture of the QR code.  This picture gives you access to more and information….marketeers discover new opportunities, and note that these QR code engage people to connect to the product of service.

USA Today had a good article on this lately, giving some really good examples on how QR tags can be used into everyday business, engaging consumers.

  • Real estate agents are placing them on for-sale signs. This way interested buyers step up to the signs/house, scan the tag and receive extra information (including pictures, ….). This way people can make a better informed decision on how to proceed further.
  • Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is offering special, exclusive video of its models from QR codes placed throughout the magazine.
  • Tim McGraw and Dave Matthews use these 2D QR codes that give access to free music videos and chances to sign up for their mobile fan clubs. A visit to Tim McGraw’s digital environment shows that they are definitely leading the way.
  • AXA bank invites you into their televion add and lets you discover a new app.
  • Pizza Express uses the QR codes together with a payment app: multichannel QR

Again this new and handy tool  is becoming very successful.  The use of the mobile code boosted with 700% in one year time…..watch out and engage!

PSFK on the future of mobile tagging – QR codes and how to use them in a mobile world

Pro’s and Con’s of the QR codes


  • Easy to use
  • QR codes are trackable and can give some great information on the use
  • Easy connection between online and mobile
  • QR codes are cost effective


  • It’s not augmented reality like Blippar or Layar
  • You need a QR reader (although most of them are free of charge)
  • Scanning a QR code can take a long time/process (that’s why most people use QR codes at home – see research)

Current research

[Update – April 4, 2011]
eMarketer has posted some research on QR Codes. Nearly 2/3 of smartphone users have seen QR codes and 1/3 has used them…QR is becomming bigger and bigger. Enticing and engaging through these QR codes is finally taking off

[Update – August 12, 2011]
Trough comScore datamine a set of new interesting figures on QR codes is ready for use! EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK) see increased QR code use. 9,8%  of the smartphone users admit to have scanned a QR code in June 2011. All together 10,7 mio EU5 people have used a QR code (US: 14 million – which means the total EU use of the QR code will be bigger then the US).
Remarkebly  57,4% of those users are scanning the QR codes at home! This is interesting to know, which means they are scanned through newspapers, magazines, even television….and not on the street (20%), in stores (17,8%) or supermarkets (17,2%). Althuogh the study doesn’t reveal insights on why people merely scan at home, I can guess why! (The availability of a good internetconnection through Wi-Fi, and the time to digg deeper into a topic will probably score high pionts!)

What’s the demographic profile of the QR code user?

  • Between 18 and 44 years old
  • mostly male (60%)
  • higher income

Use of QR codes

[Update – June 14, 2011]
How to get the most out of QR codes!?

  • Make it smartphone friendly, since most QR codes are scanned through smartphone you better make shure the content is smartphone friendly!
  • Educate your customers on how to use teh QR code…let them feel the added value (you can work with a temporary promotion through the QR code)
  • Show the free apps….QR app, Optiscan, NeoReader, … so people can scan your QR codes
  • Create a VIP feeling when people use teh QR code (VIP access, discounts, ….)

[Update – March 4, 2011: I’m adding the cool infograph Mashable posted today….]
This infograph gives a good overview on how, who and when QR codes are being used.  It’s time we get into 2nd gear….a keep track with Japan. But then again, Japan is already ahaed when it comes to mobile thinking and consuming!]

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Posted in Flat Business
4 comments on “QR code engages [updated – August 15, 2011]
  1. Juan José Cerdán Garcia says:

    In Spain every day more wine is exported to Japan, one of the changes that companies have made ​​in their labels are QR codes.
    This code is good tor the consumer, to know the story of the bottle that they want buy it.

  2. After reading this article some time ago, and after discussing it (and the QR-codes concept in class) I just catch myself seeing a lot more of them.

    If you are aware, that the use of these QR codes is rising, then you simply see a lot more of them.. It’s remarkable what “awareness” does to our subconscience.

    Also, because the use of smartphones is rising sky-high, also housewives, and younger children, etc are starting to realise what QR code are..

    At first I think it was going to “fail” – and that it would become a little hype, and immediately stopped being popular – but no! QR codes are still being used more and more these days, and I’m looking forward to their future..

  3. When I bought my smartphone last year, the first app I installed was a QR scanner. Although i haven’t used it a lot after the first two months.

    QR codes are a great thing but the bad thing is you need a mobile internet connection to receive data about your product which is quite expensive if you don’t have any special data plan from your operator.

  4. Me myself I don’t own a smartphone (YET) but I know lots of people who do. Of those people I know few who use it on a regular basis. I there it’s potential is not used to the maximum! First they have to RE-hype it then continuously renew the featurers …

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