Why QR Drives Creatives QRazy
“Scan the QR code above to read the latest NZP online.”
A seemingly harmless and common request. But this specific QR code was included…in an e-mail blast. Yep, a typical case of overuse of technology to the point where it doesn’t even make sense anymore.
Why anyone would think that adding a QR code to an e-mail blast was a good idea beats me, and feeds the dislike creatives have developed for these odd looking squares.
Don’t get me wrong, QR codes as such are an interesting tool if used creatively and sensibly. But we pretty much ruined it from the get-go and now…
The Outdated Truth
Time and time again, I see the following statistics from Chadwick Martin Bailey quoted from a 2012 survey—which in this day and age is so long ago. (It makes me wonder why no one seems to have done a more recent study.)
According to the survey, those who do scan a QR code do so because:
- 43 percent are willing to scan for coupons and discounts
- 26 percent would scan for more information about a product or service
- 23 percent would make a purchase or buy something online
- 22 percent want more information about local events
- 18 percent are interested in scanning to learn more about a brand.
Nice statistics, but what do they really tell us?
The Forecast for 2014
MidAtlantic360—a Google Business View developer (and thus a company we hope has some insights)—predicts that:
- Mobile Web traffic will surpass desktop (and laptop) Web traffic by 2014.
No surprise here.
- An estimated 139 million people own a smartphone.
50 percent of smartphone users have scanned a code according to QR code statistics from econsultancy.com
Approximately 2.75 million Americans regularly scan a QR code.
“Millions of Americans” sounds impressive, but when you do the math it boils down to less than 2 percent of smartphone users are even willing to scan a QR code.