To help consumers cross-over from the physical world to the digital world, more and more companies are starting to incorporate 2D barcodes into their print advertising and promotional campaigns. One such company is Best Buy, the consumer electronics retail giant.
Recently, Best Buy prominently featured a QR barcode on the front page of its weekly circular and, by doing so, created what some are now calling a "mobile call-to-action."
By adding a mobile call-to-action such as this, which prompts people to view a trailer for the new Super Mario Galaxy 2 game, Best Buy is able to extend and enhance the customer experience much more so than a static weekly circular, or any other print advertisement for that matter.
Developed by the Plymouth, MN- based mobile marketing agency Launch Media, the QR barcode featured in the circular has an invisible watermark, which enables the code to be scanned and read by most any smartphone. Should a consumer not have a 2D barcode reader on their phone, there is another call-to-action in the circular instructing consumers to text a keyword to a short code to download a QR code reader application. Once the application is downloaded, users can launch the reader and hold their smartphone over the special code to watch the game trailer.
As mentioned in a previous post, if a company plans to use a 2D barcode in an advertisement, and feature it as a call-to-action, then it may wish to take Best Buy's lead and make certain that 1) the barcode is fully explained to consumers (i.e., how to scan the code and what will happen when the code is scanned), and 2) consumers are given the ability to download a code reader application just in case they don't already have one. Thinking in these terms, perhaps this can or should be considered a best practice.