February 22, 2012

Retail, technology sectors most frequent users of codes

Only 4% of print ads in the US contained 2-D mobile barcodes in 2011, but their use is growing, according to advertising tracking firm Competitrack. A February 2012 report by the company found that well-planned campaigns put mobile barcodes in attention-grabbing places, and then gave customers a clear call to action to lead them to content.

More than 40% of 2-D barcodes took users to general commerce and product information online, and just over 23% led customers to brand-building sites. The pairing of video with mobile barcodes was also a popular approach, with about 13% of landing pages containing video content. Because users overwhelmingly access 2-D barcodes while on the go, Competitrack suggested optimizing the layout of landing pages for mobile devices.

About 22% of all US mobile barcodes appeared in retail advertising, while roughly 13% were featured in technology ads. Just under 7% of 2-D barcodes appeared in financial services ads, but investment management firm Oppenheimer Funds was the most frequent user of mobile barcodes from any sector—85% of the company’s print ads contained them.

Although there are several different types of 2-D barcodes, the open-source QR code remains the advertising industry standard with almost 90% market penetration, according to Competitrack. And advertisers appear to be deciding on a case-by-case basis whether they need to explain to their target audiences how to use mobile barcodes, which generally require a dedicated code reader app. Earlier research has found that, though many consumers may not recognize the trade names of such codes, they know what to do when they see one.

For more information at http://www.emarketer.com

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