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Lessons from the MGH QR Code Study


The interest surrounding QR codes stem from the fact that it is easy to implement and free to use.  What’s more because of the increased pick up of the technology brought about by the surgunivere of smartphone users and free scanning software, QR codes are getting more and more noticed.

The proof of this is the various studies that have come out lately on the usage of and overall awareness for QR codes. 

Most of the studies we have seen so far relate to businesses using QR codes for their marketing and sales efforts.  But we now have a growing body of surveys on user behavior, usage and demographics.

The latest survey to come out comes from MGH, an integrated marketing and communications firm headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.  MGH, considered to be Maryland’s largest agency, has a diverse client list including Baltimore International College, University of Maryland, Marco’s Pizza, Texas Instruments, among other companies and institutions. 

Last month, MGH commissioned an online survey of 415 smartphone users to find out current and planned user behavior with regards to QR codes.  The study was carried out by vision Critical Springboard America.

The full report is here: http://mghus.com/qr-code-survey-results

BeQrious.com, however, finds some rather interesting trends from the report.

First is the higher incidence of QR code scanning.  The MGH survey indicated that 32% of smartphone users have scanned a QR code, while an astounding 70% responded that they will scan a QR code again, or will scan a QR code for the first time.

Second, and this is very important among marketers, is that 72% of the respondents indicated that they were more likely to recall an advertisement if there is a QR code.

And then there are the trends.

As of now, most people are scanning QR codes either to get discounts, deals or coupons or get more information about the product. 

In the future discounts and deals will continue to be a good strategy to get people to scan your QR codes, but trends also point that more people would start scanning QR codes to enter a sweepstakes, get more information, or signup for more information  than they are doing now.

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Most glaring trends

If you think that you don’t have to change anything, think again.  According to MGH data, your best bets in the future are as follows:

  • Build your own e-commerce site or partner with somebody who can build it for you.  This is because, a remarkable 60% of smartphone owners are looking to make a purchase via a QR code, something that they just don’t currently see.
  • Videos are on their way out.  Videos may be interesting, and they may get your information across faster, but they might not be a sound investment in the future as far a QR codes are concerned.  MGH finds that interests in scanning a QR code to watch a video is dwindling.

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2 Responses to Lessons from the MGH QR Code Study

  1. James Anderson August 2, 2011, 10:00 pm

    The statement about video may be true only for one reason, and that is that many of the videos being produced for websites are sub-par on production values, either bad sound, bad lighting, bad sets, or whatever, any combination of them.

    To have an effective QR code campaign involving video, one is going to have to make the video in as professional a manner as possible. Not every videographer that is out for hire can do this, many go cheap and thus forget the most important things, therefore the end product in the production process ends up being something that the customer, upon opening the video in their mobile browser, or through the website on a PC, turns their nose up at and tunes out.

    But if the video is well-shot, well-edited, and otherwise well-produced and written, it will grab the attention of the viewer and they’ll stay with it and get the point you are trying to put across.

  2. Mobile Marketing November 1, 2011, 8:01 am

    I have also done extensive research on mobile Marketing, and the future is here now. And just in the last couple of months I have seen a sharp increase by Corporations using QR code technology. It’s not going anywhere…

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