I love to use social media. In fact my daughter calls me a social media junkie.
I was recently asked to review a marketing plan where the target audience was mixed (male and female) 38+ years old. The original planned called for the heavy use of QR codes as a primary driver of traffic. Why? Because a “social marketing” expert felt this was cool. The problem with the proposal was the marketing team had not done a good job in understanding the demographics of who actually uses the technology. Comscore released an interesting study on the use of QR codes last summer that would have greatly helped this team if they had done a little upfront research.
The study found that in June 2011, 14 million mobile users in the U.S., representing 6.2 percent of the total mobile audience, scanned a QR code on their mobile device. The study found that a mobile user that scanned a QR code during the month was more likely to be male (60.5 percent of code scanning audience), skew toward ages 18-34 (53.4 percent) and have a household income of $100k or above (36.1 percent). The study also analyzed the source and location of QR code scanning, finding that users are most likely to scan codes found in newspapers/magazines and on product packaging and do so while at home or in a store.
The report reflects that QR Codes would be useful in a defined segment targeting mainly males who are between the ages of 18 to 34 who have smartphones.
NET-NET – While I love QR codes – it was clearly the wrong tool primary for this campaign (good secondary tool perhaps). Don’t assume that just because something is the latest buzzword it will help you reach your desired goal. There are so many great tools out there today – just make sure that you are using the right tool for the job at hand.
Read more about QR Codes usages at http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/8/14_Million_Americans_Scanned_QR_or_Bar_Codes_on_their_Mobile_Phones_in_June_2011