August 10, 2012
A recent Taco Bell QR code print ad
Android is the most popular operating system for scanning mobile bar codes followed by Apple’s iOS, according to new research by ScanLife.
ScanLifes latest trend report for the second quarter of 2012 took a look at how consumers are using their mobile devices to interact with QR codes. Additionally, the study pulls out the top-performing types of mobile content and industries based on campaigns that generate the highest number of scans.
There are a number of great ways to engage on the mobile device, but QR codes are really the best way to do it from traditional media like print, packaging and displays, said Mike Wehrs, president/CEO of ScanLife, New York.
More than 50 percent of smartphone users have scanned a bar code so the behavior has become relatively mainstream, he said.
Now the technology can work even harder by delivering relevant experiences based on all of this metadata like time of day, language, or location. This is now where we see the next phase going and that is where it gets really powerful.
Coca-Cola taps QR codes to drive consumer engagement
ScanLife found that 69 percent of its mobile bar code scanners during the second quarter of 2012 were males, which is likely due to an increase in personalized and tailored QR campaigns intended for a specific groups of users.
Additionally, 26 percent of mobile bar code scanners on ScanLifes platform came from consumers aged 25 to 34 years old. Twenty-four percent of users fell into the 35 to 44 age group, 24 percent from the under 18 to 24 year-old bracket and the remaining 26 percent of scans came from users more than 45 years old.
Timing is everything when it comes to targeting consumers with mobile bar codes.
Qr codes appear on the back of Heinz Ketchup bottles
Throughout the day, ScanLife found that scanning steadily increases and peaks around 7 p.m.
Additionally, research from comScore in April found that 60 percent of consumers scanned mobile bar codes from home, showing the opportunities available to marketers to equip traditional media such as print, direct mail and television that consumers predominately use at home with mobile campaigns.
ScanLife ranked different types of mobile content based on the number of mobile bar code scans that occurred during the second quarter of 2012. Video ranked as the No. 1 category followed by app downloads, social media, loyalty programs and contests.
Top industries that are incorporating QR codes include beverage companies, quick-service restaurants, the wireless industry, health and beauty brands and toys.
Marketers have a love-hate relationship with mobile bar codes. However, campaigns from big brands have clearly continued to push the technology during the second quarter of 2012.
For instance, Coca-Cola recently rolled out a campaign that placed QR codes on cans of soda to promote content such as the 2012 European Football Championship (see story).
Additionally, Cadillac took a unique twist on a print ad with a mobile bar code campaign that differed by magazine publication (see story).
The industries that are finding the most value from mobile bar codes tend to be retail, consumer packaged goods, quick-service restaurants and hospitality, Mr. Wehrs said.
There are a variety of reasons, but mainly because there is a natural fit for mobile engagement within the purchasing process, he said. QR codes or UPC codes provide more information that bring people closer to the brand and to a sale.
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York