The QR dilemma
I’ve been fascinated by QR codes since the very beginning, a couple of years ago. And I’ve always asked myself the same questions: how many people have the QR reader software installed on his/her mobile phone? How many people really understand there is something they can do and access to through that barcode? Is it really worth and cost effective to launch an action with QR codes (outside of Japan, of course…)?
The disappointing thing is that I’m still looking for relevant answers to the questions above. I keep reading about QR actions but it’s impossible to get any number on the spread of QR enabled phones nor on the results of QR campaigns. To give you an idea of the lack of information in the industry and among consumers, I think it’s interesting to read an article Ralph Lauren has published on its online magazine. A fashion brand that explains its consumers a technology… let me say that this is a bit curious, unless you have realized nobody has interacted with your QR code…
Today I read on NMA that Pepsi “is to launch on-pack and on-shelf mobile QR codes in a bid to increase consumer interaction with the brand“. This is definitely a mass marketing action, but again, it raises concerns on the actual reach and redemption it can generate. In a way, I have the same feeling I had when Second Life launched. Brands opened their store or space in SL just because it was a cool thing to do that was able to generate a lot of press clippings
Another thing that gives you an idea on the lack of knowledge around QR is the fact that in every article that presents a QR action, the journalist always feels the need to explain what a QR code is and how it works. Just to give you an example, this is an article coming from Australia about the latest Sony Ericsson Quantum Solace QR enabled campaign.
Ok, I’m done for today with my concerns around QR. Don’t get me wrong I think QR codes are a potentially great marketing tool but you know, marketing resources are limited, and before launching a QR action, I need to find an answer to the question: is it worth it?
Any number or thought you could share will be highly appreciated!