QR Code Scanning Skyrockets up 4549 Percent in Q1 2011

May 13, 2011

qr code sample 2 QR Code Scanning Skyrockets up 4549 Percent in Q1 2011Are you using QR codes in your marketing programs yet (see the explanation at the end of this post if you’re not familiar with QR codes)? If new research from Mobio Identity Systems is accurate, then you can probably assume that your customers are scanning QR codes already.

The Mobio study reports that QR code scanning was up by 4,549% in the first quarter of 2011. That’s right — 4,549%. Following are some of the most interesting statistics from the study.

Guess who is scanning the most QR codes?  Adults between the ages of 35-44. That segment of the population accounts for 24% of all QR code scans.

Gender matters, too. Mobio found that 68% of QR code scans are done by women.

Currently, only 6% of QR code scans are done for payments, but you can bet this statistic will grow in the near future. In Q1 2011 one QR code scanning purpose dominated: approximately 9 out of 10 QR code scans were done to get more information about a product or service.

Where are people finding the QR codes that they scan? 70% of QR code scans are done from social media, 22% from television, 4% from ambient media and the world around them, and 3% from online (not social media).

Once a QR code scanner, always a QR code scanner. According to the Mobio report, 62% of people who scan QR codes don’t just scan once. They’re repeat scanners.

So what can marketers and brand managers take away from this study? Five important findings include:

  1. QR code marketing initiatives aren’t just for the young demographic as many people think. Targeting 35-44 year old smartphone users should be part of your strategy if that audience is important to you.
  2. Women make the majority of purchase decisions, and they are the biggest users of QR codes. Target them!
  3. QR code campaigns are primarily informational in nature today. That shouldn’t be all they are tomorrow. Work to find new ways to connect with your target audience through the flexibility inherent to QR codes.
  4. As more and more people start scanning QR codes as part of their everyday lives, it’s likely that scans will happen in more diverse places. For now, focusing on social media placement is a good place to start.
  5. Consider rewarding loyal QR code scanners with exclusive offers, a VIP club, and more not only to just keep them happy but also to motivate them to buy and talk about your QR codes, brand, and business with their own online and offline connections.

What is a QR Code? A QR code (quick response code) is shown in the image at the beginning of this article. QR Codes hold a lot of information (similar to bar codes on retail products) and can be scanned using smartphone devices like the popular iPhone and Android devices. Once scanned, QR codes can send people to websites, provide information, offer discount codes, and more.

Are you using QR codes in your marketing yet? Leave a comment and share your thoughts about QR codes for brand marketing.

Microsoft Launches New Strategy Against Google

March 4, 2011

Every brand is trying to connect with local audiences, and local coupon and savings websites and mobile apps have exploded in popularity over the course of the past year. Groupon leads the buzz, but a failed buyout attempt by Google last year left the doors wide open for the industry to expand.

Microsoft is attempting to seize the opportunity by going in a different direction than Google (who is rumored to now be looking to launch its own program called Google Offers). This week, Microsoft announced it is partnering with Dealmap, an online deal aggregator, to offer localized deals through Microsoft’s Bing search engine to U.S. users. The video below appeared on the Bing blog with all the details.

<a href="http://video.msn.com?mkt=en-us&#038;brand=msn video&#038;playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:2d427226-041b-40e8-ba91-5c1ae7a8130a&#038;showPlaylist=true&#038;from=bingblogplayer_en-us_bing&#038;fg=Bing_Marketing_player_bing_blog" target="_new" title="Bing Launches Deals">Video: Bing Launches Deals</a>

The new partnership between Bing and Dealmap brings over 200,000 deals in over 14,000 U.S. cities via both the web and a mobile app for both iPhone and Android devices. Deals come from well-known sources such as Groupon, Restaurant.com, and Living Social. Users can browse for deals by location, business name, keyword, or category. They can also save deals that they find and like, or they can email deals to friends. Of course, they can also claim deals with the deal provider.

Ironically, the new Microsoft and Dealmap service only works on HTML5-enabled mobile devices. That means people who own devices that use Microsoft’s own Windows Phone 7 won’t be able to use it. Microsoft claims that Windows Phone 7 should support HTML5 by the end of 2011.

Now, the ball is in Google’s court. We’ll have to wait and see how Google responds, because you know they won’t leave the localized deal platform launched by Microsoft and Dealmap unanswered. If the rumor reported on Mashable in January about Google Offers is accurate, we might not have to wait very long to see the next stage of this story unfold.

Mobile Marketing Matters in 2011

February 10, 2011

mobile marketing local marketing Mobile Marketing Matters in 2011If there is one trend your brand needs to focus on in 2011, it’s mobile marketing.  However, mobile marketing with a local marketing twist will take that trend to the next level.

Yelp is a website that helps people find local businesses, review local businesses, and interact with other users.  If there was any question as to whether or not local targeting through mobile marketing matters, new statistics released by Yelp will put things into perspective for you.

According to Yelp, in December 2010, Yelp mobile app users called a local business every other second.  Keep in mind, that statistic only includes activities by users of the Yelp mobile app, not the website.

More data about Yelp mobile app usage as reported on the Yelp blog follows:

  • 3.2 million unique visitors used a Yelp mobile app.
  • 35% of all searches on Yelp.com came from a Yelp mobile app.
  • Every other second, a consumer generated directions to a local business.
  • A photo was uploaded every 30 seconds from a Yelp mobile app.

The Yelp website has been doing well, too.  Yelp reported the following data on the Yelp blog for January 2011:

  • More than 45 million unique visitors used Yelp.com to make a spending decision based on 15 million reviews on the site.
  • 50% of reviewed businesses on Yelp.com are in the shopping or restaurants categories.

There is no doubt that mobile marketing and geo-targeting are both huge opportunities for brands and businesses, and the popularity of sites like Yelp demonstrates the power of mobile, local and social media marketing when they’re combined.  This is a trend that’s not going away.  The final quarter of 2010 marked the first time in history that smart phone sales outpaced PC sales as reported by research group IDC.  During the final three months of 2010, consumer electronics manufacturers shipped 100.9 million smart phones.  PC shipments for the same time period reached just 92.1 million.

If mobile marketing and local marketing aren’t already a part of your brand’s marketing plan, then you need to bump them up to the top of your prioritization list.  Consumers are looking to their mobile devices to find the kind of local and social information they need to make purchase decisions.  Your brand needs to be there, too.

Image: stock.xchng

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