3.09.2011

SAS...A Glutton for Punishment?

SAS, the business analytics and software company, is at it again. The company is currently running this print advertisement in Bloomberg Businessweek, which is the same advertisement that I reviewed and commented on in two previous posts (here and here ).

When the QR Code is scanned, the reader of the advertisement is shown a self-promoting corporate video for about two minutes, which leads no where (i.e., no offer, no call to action, no content form to fill out...nothing in the way of helping to generate a qualified sales lead) and delivers very little with respect to information that matters. Really, it's about two minutes too long of pure marketing speak.

Since I first spotted the ad, which was back in November, either one of two things is happening. First, the company is getting such a strong response to the ad (i.e., generating a large number of qualified sales leads) that the marketing team figured they could just re-use the ad with no changes. No changes to the headline, copy, call to action, QR Code scan resolve, etc.. Second, the company is getting a weak response to the ad (i.e., generating a small number of qualified sales leads) that the marketing team figured they could just re-print the ad with no changes, as mentioned above, and hope for the best. Given that these are two very likely scenarios, my guess is that the advertisement is not generating a large number of qualified leads and, in the interest of saving time, money and effort, the ad was simply recycled. But, even if I am wrong, and the ad is pulling in sales leads, I'll go out on another limb and say it's not because of the QR Code.

In fact, I would be extremely surprised that the QR Code was doing much of anything for this ad, or the company, with respect to generating sales leads and that's too bad. Too bad, because people may have taken the time and expended the energy to not only scan the code and watch a valueless video, but now need to figure out how to go about getting in touch with the company.

If one of the main objectives of B2B marketing is sales lead generation, how does SAS accomplish this via this particular ad? (Okay, they offer a free special report, who doesn't.) And, again, what does 2D have anything to do with it? Unless my view on this campaign is, and has been, way off base, I just find it very surprising that a company like SAS can make this misstep.

As with my previous reviews, I will once again attempt to make contact with the head of marketing at SAS to learn more. Stay tuned.

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL

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