As much as I pay attention and focus on 2D barcode strategy and tactics, there is one thing that I have noticed lacking in most every single strategic campaign, if not all of them. Testing. Whether it's testing calls to action, scan resolves, code size, code placement, code instructions, code types (e.g., QR, Tag, JAGTAG, etc.), or code symbols (e.g., branded vs. generic, black/white vs. color, etc.), or even one publication or channel versus another, it seems as though companies don't have the same interest in testing, as if they do for a direct mail or email campaign, banner ad, landing page, product page, etc., and I wonder why.
Even though I have seen two or three companies place 2D barcode advertisements for multiple months in multiple publications, they end up using the very same ad over and over again with no recognizable modifications. If this is the case then how do they analyze and determine ROI? How can they tell what component of the ad made it a success or, for that matter, a failure?
Obviously, companies are spending (investing) good money in the creation and placement of their 2D advertisements, so why not follow marketing best practice and test. Even if a company did not wish to test the ad for the ad's sake, wouldn't they at least want to test the use of 2D technology, how well it is received by consumers and what kind of affect it has on the objectives set for the ad. So who and or what's to blame? Are companies and their agencies just loosing sight of this essential aspect of marketing? Are there too many people, departments, fiefdoms involved with the creation of a 2D ad, so no one knows who should be responsible for the tests and they just don't get done? Or maybe companies haven't thought through the strategic aspects of a 2D campaign due to a lack of knowledge and or experience, which makes sense since 2D is new for just about everyone here in the U.S.
If a 2D advertisement performs less than desired, I have a hunch marketing executives will find fault with the code itself, not the overall creative execution or strategic direction of the ad, and perhaps never do a 2D ad in the near future, which is a shame, because 2D offers a great deal of value and benefit to both consumers and businesses alike. But, if the company proactively tested, they would be able to tell whether it was the code, or any other element for that matter, which caused success or failure, and this brings me back to the premise of this post. Testing should be viewed as an essential aspect of any 2D campaign.
(Should you know of any company actually testing their 2D campaign please let me know, as I would welcome the opportunity to learn about their methodology and findings.)