Marketers looking for a new way to create a dialogue between consumers and their brand may find the answer in the QR code.
First there was the smartphone. Then there was mobile messaging, mobile coupons, mobile loyalty program apps. What's the next mobile marketing trend? It may very well be QR Codes.
Short for "quick response," a QR code links online content to a mobile device. The barcode type graphic can hold up to 7,000 characters in a compact space. The consumer simply scans the code (using a QR reader app on their smartphone) and is redirected to content that the creator of the code has developed.
While QR codes have been around for a while (they were created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994), they are increasing in popularity.
· Mobio reports that during July to December of 2010, QR code scanning grew a whopping 1,200 percent; 89 percent of QR codes link to more information about a product, promotion, or event; 6 percent of QR codes are for mobile payment.
· According to a February 2011 survey of U.S. smartphone users by MGH, 32 percent of respondents said they have scanned a QR code. Of those, 53 percent said they used the code to get a coupon or discount. And 72 percent said they were more likely to remember an advertisement with a QR code.
With today's consumers being flooded with more than 5,000 marketing messages daily, being able to transform what may have been a three-second interaction with an ad, text, or other marketing message into a rich, proactive, permission-based interaction with the brand that could last a few minutes is powerful—especially since we know that engagement is the first, and most critical, step toward long-term customer loyalty…