How do companies use QR Codes?
Companies are convinced that QR codes are useful in times of crisis, but at the moment of truth, only 3 out of 10 companies that use two-dimensional codes do so as a marketing tool. This is one of the data provided by the first study on the uses of QR by companies, developed by Selenus, an online marketing and communication agency.
Motivated by the rise of smartphones, companies have been resorting little by little to QR codes in order to attract the attention of their audience. The interest reaches to such a point that 71% of the surveyed companies consider that the QRs can be useful in times of crisis. This follows from the first ‘Study on mobile marketing strategies with QR codes’, prepared by Selenus with the participation of 75 companies that have ever used two-dimensional codes in their campaigns.
But reality is far from the idyllic scenario that is assumed for this new mobile marketing channel. The first data is revealing: 68.8% of companies that use QR codes do so without any strategy and without tools to measure efficiency. A blind bet that -and here is one of the keys- by not necessarily requiring investment or knowledge, usually ends in failure.
The QR code is in danger of becoming a fashion without any practical use, but “this also means a competitive advantage for those companies that know how to take advantage of its enormous potential,” says Juan Ángel Poyatos, director of Selenus.
The survey shows that most companies do not even care about measuring the impact of their QR code. 53% of companies do not have scans statistics, so they miss out on the return of information offered by their own potential audience. Paradoxically, 41% consider that having this information “would be interesting”. Why do not they do it then?
In the opinion of Poyatos, “one thing is that anyone can create their own QR code easily and free of charge and another that knows or wants to take advantage of it. This survey reveals that companies turn their backs on results, whose analysis in any field is essential to measure the effectiveness of our actions, get to know our target audience and adopt measures for continuous improvement.”
Regarding the motivations to use the QR as a marketing strategy, 58.8% of companies point to the fact of “endowing life” with their offline supports (posters, brochures, press announcements …). For another 52.9% it means “opening another channel for its customers” and for 47.1% “distinguishing itself from the competition”.
Expand the product information is only an incentive for 5.9% of companies. “We are faced with superficial reasonings that denote the absence of previously defined objectives. QR codes are not miraculous, we can not expect them to do the work for us, “Poyatos warns.
The strategy, the weak point
It is not surprising, therefore, that with the question ‘What would improve your QR code?’, 68.8% of companies recognize that their weak point is the lack of a strategy that captures the public’s attention. Half of them would also like to establish a greater link between their QR and social networks, but again we are faced with a paradox: only 18.8% believe that they should improve the content of their code.
“We are clearly facing a problem of professionalization: many of the QR codes that we usually see have been created by people who do not have a minimum knowledge in marketing, communication or programming. What would happen if the press releases were written by the company accountant? “They ask in Selenus.
The signage, the favorite support
Having a QR code with a personalized design is a requirement that only 3 out of 7 companies (31.3%) pay attention to, although this helps to reinforce our brand image. But the chapter in which companies are most convinced is in the media: 82.5% of companies say they know the most effective support for their QR code.
A large majority of 81.3% place them in brochures and posters, 37.5% in advertisements in the press and 31.3% in cards. Half of the respondents consider that merchandising is an ideal support for their QR code, but only 6.3% can afford it. Other affordable supports such as product labeling (packaging) are not yet used by companies, whose use is also reduced to 6.3%.
Average rating: approved
If the companies had to act as teachers and give a note to the work done with their QR code, the result would be an approved scraping. The average rating reaches 5.8 but, if this is an exercise in self-criticism, it seems that companies are willing to apply more in the future. 69% say they plan to increase the use of the QR code in the coming months, compared to 25% that will continue on the same line as before.
Only 6% of companies consider that the QR code has not contributed anything and plans to reduce or eliminate it from its supports.