Q: A while ago, Google encouraged local businesses in my area to get QR decals to place in their shop windows. I haven’t heard anything about these since, and wondered if QR codes are something I should be integrating into my marketing plans?
A: As far as the part of your question applying to the QR decals and Google, Google cancelled the use of QR codes back in March 2011 within the Google Places pages.
However QR codes (or Quick Response codes) are definitely a marketing trend on the rise, found found anywhere from a traditional storefront window to the back of a bottle of shampoo. A recent comScore survey revealed that 14 million mobile users scanned a QR code in June 2011, and those users were more likely to be males between the ages of 18-34 and in higher income brackets. The study also found that users are most likely to scan codes found in newspapers/magazines and on product packaging.
A study published on the Queaar Blog revealed that QR Code scans increased by 4,549% between Q1 2010 and Q1 2011. Most users also expect a coupon or deal when using a QR Code.
But whether you should incorporate the QR code strategy into your marketing plan truly depends on the type of business you operate. For some it may be very useful (businesses known for offering coupons), while others may gain little benefit versus other marketing strategies. In truth, the technology is little different from having the mobile user type in a URL, and many question if its popularity will survive past the novelty factor.
If you are interested getting started with QR codes or finding out more information, some great websites to visit are: