Why QR codes are Important?

QR codes are the major link between: 

  1. Print Media
  2. Online Media, and 
  3. Smartphones

Don't you think these 3 covers almost all the major media we have today? Before QR codes, Print Media and Online Media were competing head to head. But, QR Code has made both complementary to each other.

Semi Nude QR Code by Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein Online Adult Video Commercial was first hosted and the QR code was placed on a Billboard in New York City.

Evaluating QR Code Market Size

Accroding to the 3 media that QR code connects, if you go for Subset Concept, then the lowest number (smartphones) would be your maximum market size, since the print and online media is larger. But, the maximum market size also has many other subsets.

And I am afraid that we are actually being shown only the Subset of the Subset of the total market. e.g. if you are going to believe that the market size is actually the number of users that uses QR codes, that's really injustice to the stat. It's actually not about numbers, it is also about possibilities.

Why Mere Numbers are not Enough

[Rant]Re-iterating, it is not actually the numbers of smartphones[/Rant]. Because, the facts are:

  • Behind each Smartphone, there are people and people are getting smartphones every day
  • It's not that a smartphone scans only one QR code in their lifetime
  • And it's not that a person scans only one QR code when he has a smartphone
  • Internet Media is more trackable than print media, just for this sake, businesses will want to push people to land on online media
  • QR codes make print media more interactive (just think, you now can comment on an article your read in print media on a Web 2.0 site)
  • You even can show more than a print media can (e.g. you can show full video commercial for a product from it's label) so print media would take advantage of it
  • Online Media professionals would want more traffic, so they would like to embrace print media also with QR codes

So, it's actually not about the number of smartphones or the number of people holding one. It is about the the possibilities that it offers and the possibilities that are still untapped.

The Real Figures of QR Code Market Size

Timeline of QR Code Usages in Various Demographics - A Study by Emarketer

Study Courtesy: Emarketer

The article on Emarketer shows that the usage of QR Code is in a steady pace. Frustratingly, people are not getting into using QR codes much. My hunch is, it's actually based on the Subset of the Subset I was talking about earlier.

To me this stat is a bit frustrating. The most frustrating thing is that, it is mostly used by users for getting coupons.

The Major Reasons for Using QR codes

Study by Emarketer

Waiting for that Spark

But, as the untapped possibilities start to unveil, the use will sky rocket. The market is waiting to be boosted. I really don't think it is users' fault. Businesses are failing to utilize it heavily. Moreover, it's just that businesses are not coming up with great ideas for QR Code utilization.

And starting from marketing to service delivery, from commercials to humor, everywhere QR codes will rule, because I don't think Print Media is going away anytime soon. So, there will always demand for such loopholes to jump between dimensions (aka media - print vs. online).

Some Predictions

Those who disbelive, please mark my word that these will happen in future:

  • The number of Facebook Page likes and online votes from QR codes will surpass the number of clicks from web
  • Much of Facebook and other social media shares made from real life objects, places, and incident/events will be influenced heavily by QR codes
  • As online purchase grows, day to day product purchase decissions will be made on roads and certain portion of it will be influenced by QR codes. Seen some QR Code shops on the subway of Korea, don't think that this will not grow in other parts of the world
  • Each print newspaper and magazines will encourage online voice of public, ensuring this from print media is possible only with QR codes
  • Travel sites will post QR codes in prominent places to educate people about a specific location
  • Every print ticket in the world will have QR codes
  • Each billboard will push people to online media or mobile phone calls/SMS with QR codes
  • Street prostitutes will wear QR code t-shirts to show their unexposed videos online
  • QR Code will play major role in Political Marketing

I really can go on and make a 101 list. If you still beleive that the QR codes market size is not that big or not that promising, then you just have not seen much success in life [sorry for the insult].