QR Codes - A Boon or Bane for Indian Marketers?

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG300
Case Length :18 Pages
Period : 2012
Pub Date : 2012
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization :Not Available
Industry : Not Available
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Inception of QR Codes

The system of maintaining data in a digital format was started by IBM in 1970. IBM invented UPC symbols which contained 13 digits that were decoded using laser scanners. Bar codes came into force in 1970 after undergoing many trials. Later the barcodes were revised, technical improvements made, and their application was widened. The drawback of the barcodes was they were capable of holding very little information. In 1974, Code 39 which could hold 30 alphanumeric characters was developed. Later, in 1980, due to the increased demand by the industry for the provision of more information through a small number of codes, a multistage symbol code containing 100 characters was designed...

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

QR Code as a Marketing Tool

Analysts opined that the usage of the QR code would increase the shelf life of print advertisements. One QR code could be used for multiple promotions of the products under the same brand which would usually cost more for print advertising. The company had to keep changing the information provided in the web link which would be accessed by the user on scanning the QR code. The QR codes were thus highly economical for the marketers to promote their products. Multimedia presentations of businesses could be included in the QR code. The QR codes were used with all types of advertising tools like print advertising, media advertising, bill boards, business cards, magazines, and mails...

QR Code in India

Since the usage of Smartphones had increased exponentially, many companies across the world had begun using the QR code as an effective advertising tool. Analysts opined that QR code marketing was in the budding stage in India and very few brands had tried it. Brands like Shoppers Stop and Turquoise Cottage were successful and experienced great customer response to their QR code marketing campaigns. On other hand, companies like Ford India , Kit Kat , and a few other companies failed to utilize the QR code as an effective marketing tool...

Road Ahead

According to the QR code activity survey conducted in 2012, India had experienced a growth of 500 % in one year, that is, during 2011-12. It was listed as one of the top 10 countries showing QR activity. Analysts opined that marketers in India were gradually adopting the QR code. The challenge associated with using the QR codes as effective mobile marketing tools lay in designing the QR code content. Companies usually preferred to use videos for demonstrating their product and its features. But, the effectiveness in using the QR code was determined by the quality of the mobile and the network used. Hence, all users did not have the same experience that the marketing researcher expected. It was also observed that many users were not able to understand the information portrayed by the advertisements...


Exhibit I: Various 2D Barcodes in Usage
Exhibit II: Difference between QR Code and Bar Code
Exhibit III: Standardization of QR Codes
Exhibit IV: Timeline of Entry of QR Code into Various Sectors
Exhibit V: Indian Brands Successful in Using the QR Codes
Exhibit VI: List of Top 10 Countries Adopting QR Code

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