Apps, Mobile & SMS

QR Code & Mobile Ad Research Challenges Music Marketing Assumptions

image from Three different recent reports, two on QR codes and one on mobile ads, have revealed that the assumptions of many, have been offbase in believing that QR codes on the street and timing approaches are the way to go in mobile marketing. That doesn't mean to throw in the towel on such approaches, but it does challenge many assumptions.

The big news has been comScore's QR code survey that looked at demographic groups as well as sources and locations of scanned codes:

"Among mobile users who scanned a QR code on their mobile devices in June, 58.0 percent did so from their home, while 39.4 percent did so from a retail store and 24.5 percent did so from a grocery store. Nearly 20 percent scanned a QR code while at work, while 12.6 percent did so outside or on public transit and 7.6 percent did so while in a restaurant."

A less noticed QR code survey by Lab42 focused on different topics and found that, of those who were familiar with QR codes, they were most likely to have seen them in magazines (67%), retail stores (62%) and posters/billboards (40%) and were most likely to have scanned them for a discount (46%), to get info on a product or service (44%) and out of curiosity (43%).

In a rare music specific data point, of those who had used QR codes as tickets, concert tickets were the most popular type to have been scanned at 62%.

A third survey, this one focused on mobile ad preferences found that: "feature phone users ranked personalized offers at 59 percent over those focused on timing (18 percent), lifestyle (16 percent) or location (8 percent). Smartphone users responded in similar fashion, with 60 percent preferring personalized offers over promotions based on timing (17 percent), lifestyle (10 percent) or location (14 percent)."

Note that timing and location score much lower than personalized offers that aren't necessarily tied to time or place.

Given that when I've been writing about QR codes, I've been most drawn to mobile street marketing, this data comes as a surprise. But Bruce's creative ways musicians can use QR codes offers plenty of ideas that can be applied in print pubs and retail locations and Odd Future's use of a QR code on Jimmy Fallon probably reached most folks at home.

So I guess only some of us interested in this topic have missed the mark though that doesn't mean that location-focused approaches are doomed to failure since awareness of QR codes is still growing and their use has a ways to go. But it does suggest that music marketing efforts focused on timing and location might be better spent on services such as Foursquare than on QR codes while the biggest current response would likely be achieved via magazines and retail promotions featuring discounts and tickets.

Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He is currently relaunching Flux Research to pursue his long-standing obsession with web business models. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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