ADOTAS – Almost as soon as I ended my conversation with NeoMedia CEO Laura Marriott, an email arrived in my inbox titled: “QR Codes Are Hopeless.”
“Here’s the problem: Americans don’t actually use QR codes,” Jack Benoff writes on DigiDay. “We don’t walk up to billboards on the street and scan them with an app on our phone. Sorry, not happening.”
That may come as a surprise to former Mobile Marketing Association President Marriott, who said her company had seen an 1,800% increase in scans across its platform. As an advertising tool, NeoMedia has seen significant adoption of mobile barcodes by brands in the last year and a half, but we’re still in the early phase, Marriott added. In particular, she is waiting for a massive viral event centered on scanning use that will herald the mainstream arrival of the barcode.
Last week, NeoMedia unveiled the next generation of its NeoSphere barcode management platform, the highlight of which is enhanced analytics for marketers. The data inherent in scanned 2D codes — the most popular of which are QR codes — go beyond user demographics to include time-of-day, location, reach and other mobile variables. Updated reporting now includes flexible charts for straightforward analysis. Also, the platform now supports more codes such as UPC, EAN and ISBN.
No neophyte in the this game, NeoMedia has been innovating barcode technology since the mid-1990s. Mobile barcodes have proven quite valuable within industry — they can be used for inventory control and reorders.
The marketing arena, however, hold a great deal of promise, including the use of mobile barcodes to assist in mobile commerce. Marriott can envision a near future where QR codes appear on all physical ads, inviting user to scan and further engage with a brand. They may not replace the URL on these ads, but they should certainly be right next to it.