Do people really scan QR codes?

This is a question I am often asked by people who don’t work in advertising agencies (ad agencies like to assume that most people do scan codes). The answer to that question is … well, it depends. Or if you want to put a figure on that, it’s 14.5% of Smartphone users in Europe scan QR codes, according to comscore. That’s not a lot of people (say, 7% of the population), but it appears to be growing. I have blogged extensively about how and when codes should be used, but an interesting set of stats from the research company confirm that print – magazines and newspapers – is the most used media (50% of scans). Next most used was packaging at 38% and websites (strangely) at just under 29% of scans.

As with any technology, QR has it’s place (it’s place seems to be in print and packaging) and both the engagement and audience must be correct. I have conveniently split some examples into QR Fail and QR Success on Pinterest if you want to see how best to use them or see the comscore stats for more info.

Measuring the mobile internet: GSMA launches Mobile Media Metrics

This is big news for those in the world of mobile marketing. The GSM Association, which represents the mobile operators, has launched a new metrics service with Comscore, to provide detailed information about the mobile internet. The GSMA has taken great care to ensure that the data is anonymised and combined this with demographic data taken from a representative sample to ensure they are providing detailed information about what is happening on the mobile internet. The advantage of the mobile space is that mobile internet access is through just five operators, rather than the many ISPs for the fixed line internet. The only thing it cannot account for is access through WiFi connections.
Some initial data from the metrics showed that 16 million people in the UK accessed the mobile internet in December 2009. The top 10 sites accounted for 70% of the total traffic and were as follows:

1. (5 million)
2. Google sites (4.6m)
3. Telefonica Mobile Networks (3.7m)
4. Orange Sites (3.6m)
5. Vodafone Group (3.3m)
6. Yahoo! Sites (2m)
7. BBC Sites (1.9m)
8. Microsoft Sites (1.6m)
9. Apple (1.5m)
10. Nokia (1.1m)

It is no surprise that Facebook is top. It is interesting to see the number of mobile operator and manufacturer sites in this list. However, when listed according to time spent on the sites, Bebo and Flirtomatic both making it into the top 10, bumping out Telefonica (O2) and Nokia. It means that social networking is clearly a significant activity on mobile. Whilst the presence of Google, Yahoo and the BBC is unsurprising, it would seem that the operator portals still retain a place in the smartphone mobile web.