Mobile Marketing Statistics: Quelling the QR Quandary

Written by Michael Whittington

Nearly every week my blog entry can be summarized as “we’ve only just begun generating QR codes, here’s another new idea someone thought of.” I love the type of discussion that these types of articles inspire. This week, I’m not in the mood to argue. I want to win, and you certainly can’t deny hard numbers; at least not without looking downright silly. That is why, for a fun change, this week we’ll be taking a look at some mobile marketing news spanning back several months and I will be showing you undeniable proof, using mobile marketing statistics, that the QR code generation is still in its infant years.

Trinity Digital Marketing has designed an infographic with some introductory factoids. 87% of the world’s population is mobile-subscribed and 1.2 billion people use their phones to access the Internet. This accounts for 8.49% of hits to websites. That’s nearly one out of every ten visitors to a website. Therefore, if your site is not optimized for mobile devices, you’re potentially missing out on just as many conversions. Is your site prepared to handle the mobile marketing trends? Think again. Only 9% of websites are mobile friendly says SearchMojo.

The mobile marketing blog folk over at Business 2 Community reported a little different data claiming that there are four billion mobile phones in use (with a world population exceeding seven billion, this is much less than 87%, though it is still a tremendous number of phones). They also reported that 27% of phones are smart phones and that 27% take advantage of mobile marketing advertising to get coupons. However, these aren’t even the most stunning bits of info. The mobile marketing blog also claims that half the total number of local Internet searches are done through mobile devices. This actually isn’t too hard to believe because I know when I’m out with the band and we’re discussing where to get our after-practice vittles, I always use my phone to check reviews.

On a related note, Sparksheet has reported Google’s findings that 90% of mobile searches are followed up by some sort of user action that day and 70% of the total takes action within an hour of searching. Again, this seems believable. If I’m looking for a Chinese restaurant within five miles, I search Google, find one and I start my engine. Perhaps those who use smartphones for their web searches are more frequently looking for instant gratification: they know what they want, they’re just not sure where to get it. Meanwhile, desktop users are doing their research. They might have an idea of what they want but they’re willing to shop around for alternatives. Mobile phone users are interested in having their wants fulfilled as soon as possible. Learn more about mobile marketing trends and shopping by watching the following video.


All of the aforementioned mobile marketing statistics are incredible, but none made my jaw drop quite like this next one. It is estimated that by 2015 more people will be using phones for the Internet than there will be using desktops. Essentially this means homes may start going computerless. I just can’t fathom that since I use my computer for so much – like writing these super-educational mobile marketing blogs. Then again, isn’t that what we all said fifteen years ago when it was proposed we’d be watching TV on our computers? Or how about the death of the landline? It’s already estimated that 25% of Internet users access the web exclusively with their mobile phones (refer to the Search Mojo infographic posted earlier). Will this mean that the American family will become a group of people sitting on a couch together, all watching something different on their phones?

Let’s backtrack a bit and discuss demographics. As QR codes were introduced in Japan, it’s no surprise that Asia is the leading continent for mobile marketing advertising. So who’s in second place? Many might be surprised to know it’s Africa. We see a lot of mobile marketing news coming from Japan, China, the United States, England and Germany, but not a lot coming from Africa. Despite this, 14.85% of mobile web traffic comes from the continent according to Smart Insights. Also interesting to discover is that even though North America only accounts for 7.96% of mobile browsing, 57% of all mobile apps are developed in the United States.

How about QR codes; the real meat and potatoes (food is really a recurring theme with my writing, isn’t it?) of this Qwiktag mobile marketing blog? This is probably old mobile marketing news to you QR junkies out there but in 2011 the usage of QR codes jumped 617%. PR Web reports some data you may not be aware of, though. The QR code generation in top magazine publications went from 88 per month in January 2011 to more than 600 in December of that same year. Still not convinced you should be generating QR codes? A few months back one of my favorite online mobile marketing advertising publications, Mashable, shared an infographic from where it has been determined that 50% of smartphone owners have scanned a QR code at least once in their lives.

You can look at some more awesome infographics with mobile marketing statistics at eConsultancy or read hard numbers while listening to groovy music by playing either of the videos below. When all is said and done you’re sure to agree it’s time to start generating QR codes.

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