Magazine advertisers use of mobile action codes, including all 2D barcodes, QR codes, Microsoft Tags, and watermarks, continued to be solid in Q1, 2012 according to a May 2012 study from Nellymoser. The percentage of advertising pages with an action code, perhaps the most accurate measurement of mobile action code adoption, remained above 8% each month during Q1 2012, for the first quarter since Nellymoser began tracking this metric in March 2011. The percentage of advertising pages with an action code reached a peak of 8.9% in January, before falling to 8.3% in February and 8.05% in March.
The total number of action codes in the top 100 US magazines by circulation jumped to 1365 in Q1 2012, almost quadrupling the 352 from the same period last year. In fact, all magazines in the study, save for one, ran at least one advertisement during Q1 hat included a code, with more than 450 brands in total running an ad ha included a code.
Eighty-two (82%) percent of the action codes printed in the top 100 magazines in March 2012 were QR codes, up from 80% in February and 78% in January. March's 82% was the highest proportion recorded since Nellymoser began tracking the codes. Microsoft tags accounted for just 12% of all codes in March, while all other codes combined accounted for the remaining 6%. This is a significant change from April 2011, when 53% of the action codes were QR codes, and 46% were Microsoft Tags.
Showcasing a video (35%) remained the most popular usage for action codes in Q1, although this was a drop from 44% in Q4 2011 due to the heavy use during the holiday selling season. E-commerce (21%) was next, slightly up from 19% in Q4 2011, followed by opt-in/sweeps (20%), and social media (18%). Other uses included store locator (11%), coupon *8%), photo gallery (7%), and downloads (7%).
Other findings in the study:
- The average number of codes per issue dropped from 6.5 in Q4 2011 to 4.88 in Q1 2012. The median number of codes also fell from 5 to 4, as there were fewer large promotions in Q1 and again, there was not huge holiday selling season as associated in Q4. Whereas the largest number of codes in an issue was 70 in Q4 2011, that number was 32 in Q1 2012.
- Roughly 45% of all action codes in magazines came from companies in the beauty, health, home and fashion industries. . None of the top 10 brands for Q1 also appeared in the Q4 list. Turbo Tax was the top brand in Q1, with 21 codes.
- In terms of the number of codes per issue, the top 10 magazines were primarily women's magazines and home magazine titles, led by InStyle (18.7%).
- 64% of all action codes in Q1 were accompanied by text describing what happens after the scan. 17% were customized, and 6% were accompanied by an icon. More than 85% of the action codes were placed on the bottom half of the page.
If you are not using QR codes for your advertising, you are missing a true interconnect piece to your marketing communications plan.
We live in a new DNAge.
In planning your marketing communications plan…
Lance Hanish is Chairman/CEO and Chief of Imagination at Sophis1234 Data.Digital.Direct. He can be reached at Lance@Sophis1234.com; Facebook: http://on.fb.me/w88x5m Twitter: @Sophis1234; Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sophis1234/
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