All but one of the top 100 U.S. magazines had a mobile action code in its advertising during the first quarter of 2012, according to a study by Nellymoser, up from 78 percent in Q1 2011. (See chart, below.) The mobile engagement company further found the overall number of magazine ad pages containing such a code increased 288 percent over the time time period a year ago.

The percentage of magazine advertising pages containing a mobile action code was over 8 percent in each of the first three months this year.

QR codes were the overwhelming favorite marketers’ choice. They accounted for 80 percent of the printed codes, a noticeable change from same time last year, when QR codes and Microsoft Tags were about equal in popularity.

Nellymoser also looked at what type of user engagement each code offered, and found that 35 percent of mobile campaigns led to a video like an entertaining clip or a product demo. E-commerce, sweepstakes and social media are the next most common uses, with each being around 20 percent. The study found very few holdovers from the popular trend of a year ago to take users to a website.

“The fact that virtually every top 100 U.S. publication featured advertisements with mobile action codes in Q1 is evidence that they are an essential marketing tool for engaging readers and building brand loyalty,” said Roger Matus, executive vice president, Nellymoser. “Given the trajectory of growth we’ve seen to date, we anticipate an even faster rate of mobile action code adoption throughout 2012.”

Related link:

Nellymoser – 2012 Q1 action code study

Image by Flickr user Fabrice de Nola, used under Creative Commons license