Here's one more to add to the B2B list of 2D barcode campaigns.
Microsoft has launched a magazine advertisement to promote its Dynamics CRM Online product. Featured in the advertisement is, what else, a Microsoft Tag. When the Tag is scanned, the reader is brought to a mobile web site.
If for nothing else, this campaign offers a great example of code versus scan resolve, tactic versus strategy. The use of the Tag, as a tactical element of the advertisement, is very straightforward and works well, scan the Tag for more product information. Fine. What the Tag resolves to, however, is another matter, and this is where the overall strategy of the ad campaign may potentially break down.
If the primary objective of B2B marketing is to generate qualified sales leads, I fail to see how the current design of the mobile website serves to accomplish that objective. Once on the mobile website, the reader is bombarded with information, from blog entries to Twitter entries, from case studies to product feature pages. With all of this information, what seems to be missing is a specific path by which Microsoft wants to lead a prospect down in the hope that they will qualify themselves for future contact. As marketers and creative, we know there are a number of best practices to use when designing a regular website, product page, landing page, etc., so why does all of that disappear in the mobile world when designing a site? Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of useful product information on the mobile site, and a 30 day free trial is offered as well, but the way in which all of this is displayed and formatted is just very poor, in my opinion.
Also, and I don't know if this is going to far but, if the product being advertised is a CRM application, is there not a way that prospects can enter the Dynamics CRM Online application and leave their own details for future contact by Microsoft?
To summarize, the main point I wish to make about this campaign is that chances are it is not the code in and of itself (read tactic) that may make or break a campaign, but the scan resolve and the overall strategy.