Last week, a frequent and valued commenter of the blog wrote something that I totally agree with and believe is very much worth mentioning.
People see, but they don't see. With literally hundreds, if not thousands, of online and offline images and impressions (i.e., print advertisements, billboards, banner ads, TV commercials, logos, etc.) shown to us each and every day, we can't possibly make sense of them all. So, over time, we filter much of this out and consider it noise, while only paying close attention to a select number of images and impressions. To look at it another way, we, as consumers, have become "scanners" not "readers" of images and information.
So how does this relate to 2D barcodes? Due to the relative newness of 2D technology here in the U.S., most consumers have yet to see a 2D advertisement, let alone interact with one. So when a consumer does come across a 2D-based advertisement they might take a few extra moments to view the ad and actually read it, as opposed to simply scanning it. That's all well and good, as most any advertiser couldn't ask for anything more, but if companies continue to churn out 2D-based advertisements that are poorly designed and executed (i.e., no instructions provided, less than valuable or relevant call to action, scan does not resolve correctly, poor code placement, etc.) then consumers are very quickly going to see 2D as something to scan and not read, let alone interact with.
To quote the person who's comment gave me the idea for this article, "...people need to stop saturating the market with meaningless campaigns and starting QR-blindness, since there's no cure for it." Although 2D is more all encompassing than QR, the message is the same and very clear. Companies that wish to make use of 2D need to spend the proper and necessary amount of time, energy and resources, just as they would in developing most any other type of promotional campaign, to learn about and fully understand how best to integrate 2D codes and build a cohesive strategy with and around them. To analogize 2D to social media, just as companies want to incorporate social media into their marketing mix, it does them very little to have a presence on Facebook or Twitter, etc., with no solid social media strategy behind it. 2D should be viewed as no different.
[Thank you, Anonymous.]