There is a simple answer why using QR Codes in your marketing activities is a MUST:
Scanning a QR Code is the fasted way to open specific content in the browser!
To give you an example: A new blockbuster movie is out and is promoted with posters in the streets or with ads in magazines. To let people interact with the poster a link and a QR Code are added, like shown in the illustration above. The link redirects the user to the movie trailer, so people can already preview the movie on their mobile devices, before watching the movie in the theatre.
+++ Breaking News: iPhones with iOS11 now support QR Code Reading with the native camera app out of the box! +++
Typing vs. Auto Complete vs. QR Code Scanning
To access the trailer from the poster a person can type the URL in the web browser, use auto complete in YouTube or just simply scan the QR Code. We assume that a QR Code Reader App is already being installed on the phone and that the three different approaches of playing the trailer use the same internet connection with the same speed. The browser cache is being emptied every time. The initial process of downloading and installing the QR Code reader takes about two minutes, but is not considered in this testing scenario. With Apple devices since ios11 you don’t even need to install a 3rd-party-App to scan QR Codes.
The Bad Way: Manually typing the URL takes 30 Seconds
The traditional way to open a web address is to type the URL
https://qrd.by/mi5 manually in the browser’s address bar. Even if the link on the poster is an easy to remember and shortened URL, it takes 30 seconds to open the web browser, to enter the URL and to wait for the player to start the video. This is a reason why QR Codes became popular in China: the Chinese alphabet has much more characters and it takes ages to manually enter a Chinese URL on a mobile device.
Faster: Auto Complete in YouTube takes 20 Seconds
A faster way to watch the trailer is to use the auto complete function of the YouTube App by starting to type in the first chars of the movie. Auto complete works quite well and after entering the first 3 characters the trailer was already suggested. However there are a bunch of trailers in different languages and qualities. Typing the URL or scanning the QR Code ensures that you are being redirected to the official trailer.
The Winner: Scanning the QR Code in less than 10 Seconds
Firing up the QR Code Reader App, scanning the QR Code and the video starting to play on YouTube takes less than 10 seconds. The only disadvantage is that people have to install a QR Code Reader on their mobile devices first because in general decoding QR Codes is not supported by the native operating system.
Use QR Codes and arouse curiosity
As shown in the videos above adding QR Codes to your ads enables people to interact three times faster with your brand than manually entering an URL. Of course you have to give people an incentive why they should scan the QR Code or open the URL on their mobile device. But once you have caught their attention our statistics show that people tend to scan the QR Code four times more often than to type in the URL. We did not cover speech recognition (e.g. Cortana) and other technologies like iBeacons or Augmented Reality in this article. But we are happy if you leave a comment with your experience about other different approaches.
Last but not least: Before using QR Codes in your marketing campaigns make sure you have read our QR Code Guide for an optimal user experience and now we encourage you to create QR Codes (if you haven’t already). You might also take a look at your competitors how they use QR Codes in their marketing campaigns.