McDonalds pushing QR codes demonstrating mobile as a relevant marketing channel

Posted on August 5, 2012


A bit of background on current QR code usage. There now exists a lot of survey information about QR code usage. McDonald’s has been testing in the space of mobile for some time (as should any Brand!) and have now been able to really take advantage of mobile as a real and relevant channel.

MGH conducted an online survey to gauge awareness and usage of QR codes among smartphone users.

As QR codes are still an emerging technology – and brands struggle to determine their place in marketing campaigns – this survey aimed to uncover how many people have used QR codes, as well as how many are interested in using one in the future. And most importantly for advertisers, how likely would a consumer be to recall an ad that featured a QR code?

Key findings: Thirty two percent of respondents said they’ve used a QR code, and 70 percent said they plan to use a QR code again or for the first time. For both those that have used one and those that plan to use one, the top motivator in scanning a code is to secure a coupon or discount (53 percent and 87 percent, respectively). The survey also found that an astonishing 72 percent of smartphone users would be likely to recall an ad with a QR code.

Conclusion: In short, this data shows that: (1) consumers are interested in interacting with advertising that bears a QR code – thus, the promise of additional benefits in the form of deals, coupons, videos, sweepstakes, social media interactions, etc.; and (2) QR codes can help an ad break through the clutter by increasing the chance it will be remembered, great news for advertisers who  have already integrated a QR code strategy into a traditional advertising campaign or are looking to insert them in a future campaign.

To view full survey results, click here.

RESTON, VA, August 12, 2011 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released results of a study on mobile QR code scanning based on data from its comScore MobiLens service. A QR (“Quick Response”) code is a specific matrix bar code (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by smartphones. The study found that in June 2011, 14 million mobile users in the U.S., representing 6.2 percent of the total mobile audience, scanned a QR code on their mobile device. The study found that a mobile user that scanned a QR code during the month was more likely to be male (60.5 percent of code scanning audience), skew toward ages 18-34 (53.4 percent) and have a household income of $100k or above (36.1 percent). The study also analyzed the source and location of QR code scanning, finding that users are most likely to scan codes found in newspapers/magazines and on product packaging and do so while at home or in a store.

Mobile Marketer – By Rimma Kats–  McDonalds continues mobile reign with QR code push

McDonalds McDonald’s is putting QR codes on its packaging as part of an ongoing effort to help customers lead a nutritious life and make informed choices.

The fast food giant is introducing the new nutrition mobile bar code on packaging at its Olympic venue restaurants. McDonald’s will continue the rollout in the majority of its restaurants by the end of 2013.

“Our experience shows QR codes do drive brand engagement, and these will ramp up as phones get smarter, scanning a QR code has become quite a bit easier with the number of apps available to capture any QR code quickly,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

“We believe that this method of gaining information about products/services will grow exponentially over the next few years, to product packaging, signage, direct mail and print advertising,” she said.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with McDonald’s. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

McDonald’s did not respond by press time.

Fast food
According to McDonald’s the QR code puts the power in consumers’ hands to instantly use their mobile device to get the nutrition facts.

By using mobile bar codes, McDonald’s is able to engage with consumers on a deeper level.

Additionally, by placing the QR code on packaging, consumers will be able to clearly see it and further interact with the company.

All about nutrition
McDonald’s has been putting nutrition in the center of its efforts for the past few months now.

Earlier this month, the fast food giant introduced a Favorites Under 400 Calories menu that features existing food and beverage items under 400 calories.

Customers can access the nutrition information via the McDonald’s mobile app.

Through the mobile app, consumers can find the nearest restaurant and see if there are any job positions available.

Past efforts
McDonald’s has been ruling the mobile industry for a while now.

The fast food giants is always looking at ways to drive customers to its locations by using different mediums.

Last year, McDonald’s launched a mobile app that drove consumers to the nearest location and illustrated the company’s commitment to offer improved nutritional choices (see story).

Earlier this year, the company used a mobile ad campaign to entice users to try the company’s dollar menu items by playing a word scramble game (see story).

Most recently, McDonald’s proved that it is a force to reckon with in the mobile space with a mobile advertising campaign that promoted its breakfast items (see story).

“As marketers get smarter about mobile placement and delivery, the experience will become more thoughtful and will start to produce significant results that can no longer be viewed as experimental,” Ms. Troutman said.

“QR codes are a great way to take an entire print calendar in any company portable and across the board create a lift of engagement that wasn’t there before,” she said.