Marketing and QR Codes: Scanning the Quality Life

FACT: Four out of 10 on-the-go Millennials purchase items through mobile devices. (ATG)

FACT: 87% of scanned QR codes deliver information requests to merchants, while just eight percent redirect to a URL and just five percent are used to make payments. (Mobio)

Not Your Old Mom-and-Pop Shops

The 18- to 34-year old Millennials demand enhanced consumer experiences for merchants to keep their business. Merchants are competing with multitasking, über-social, non-conventional 20- and 30-somethings who are narcissistic enough to be in tune to themselves without pretense. If they see something they like, they share it with the world. Explorers and discovers of loyalty—when they find a brand that clicks, they stick with it and make sure everyone else knows its perks and pitfalls. This is why old-time marketing just won’t cut it anymore. Millennials want to be part of the process, to be a part of the up-and-coming. To create, not just be told what to buy or do.

So where do QR codes come in?

Businesses survive by word of mouth and direct marketing. When the economy flails, advertising budgets can run dry quickly. QR codes are attractive to companies and their marketing teams because:

1) QR codes are free to make,

2) They are free of licensure--that is, they are in the public domain and open source;

3) They are easy to track on your own,

4) a major novelty since they are just now mainstreaming within the U.S.; and

5) appeals to both young and more established consumers.


Although men download more mobile applications than women, women outnumber men when scanning QR codes by nearly 2 to 1. Remember Forrest Gumps’ “Life is like a box of chocolates?” Scanning QR codes is like that—its always a surprise what you’re gonna get. But get this—QR codes aren’t static, they’re dynamic, and for the Millennials that’s like winning the instant lottery.

What brands are using QR Codes? Check out this sampling of major players and recent QR ads:





QR Codes in Action

Music Videos

Stars like Lupe Fiasco, Shin-B and the Pet Shop Boys use QR codes embedded in their music videos to hook you up with the latest news and views with metro-style.


CSI recently featured QR codes as evidence in a crime--well, a little over half of one.

Maybe Not So Practical Life?