If you believe the results of a recent survey by MGH, QR codes are making an impact on mobile users. Their new study says that “72% of smartphone users would be likely to recall an ad featuring a QR code.”
Nice results, but I’m not sure they asked the right question. It’s kind of like asking, “if you saw a pink elephant walk down the street, would you remember?” Okay, so QR codes aren’t as obvious as a pink elephant, but they do stand out because they’re new and perplexing. As we’ve discussed before, a QR code means nothing to the observer. They must interact with the code in order to see what it’s all about and how many people do that? Of the 65% of smartphone users who said they’ve seen a QR code, less than half have actually used one.
When asked if they’d like to use them, 70% said yes. Again? It’s the wrong question. If you ask me if I’d like to use a “hoobalblink” in order to get deals, I’ll say sure, why not. I have no idea what a “hoobalblink” is or how much trouble it will be to use it, but I’ll try anything once if it means saving money.
And saving money is the main reason people are interested in QR codes. Just look at the fancy chart.
Great information, except for one thing. Because QR codes can’t be read with the naked eye, there’s no way to know what I’m getting until I scan it. For example, today I scanned an internet coupon QR code and found that it was nothing but fraud detection for the merchant. So disappointing. I was hoping to find an additional discount or other hidden goodie. QR codes are excellent Easter eggs but only if there’s something sweet inside when you crack them open.
I have no doubt that consumers are more aware of QR codes. I’m sure they see them. I’m sure most people don’t know what they’re for and I’m sure even fewer people think what they got for their trouble was worth the effort.
QR codes could be the next big thing in interactive, mobile marketing. But right now, despite what these survey results imply, it’s just a novelty that hasn’t taken hold.