QR codes may represent a new ground for marketers eager to reach out to consumers already saturated with digital content, but care must be taken that consumers’ first experience with a QR code is not a bad one.
The chances of that are high as a large number of consumers are not familiar with QR codes or how they work, according to an October 2011 survey from Russell Herder. It found that 72% of consumers say they have seen a QR code, but nearly 30% do not know what it is.
Hackers appear poised to take advantage of this ignorance, according to threat reports from security research firms. There are growing accounts of malicious QR codes, that when scanned, directs the user to a malicious file.
Few Consumers Say Time Was Worth It
Even legitimate QR codes appear to pose a risk to this emerging category, according to the Russell Herder survey. Only 31% of consumers who have scanned a QR code say that what they receive in return is always or usually worth their time. Some 52% say it is sometimes worth their time, while a combined 17% say it is rarely or never worth the time spent.