2D Barcode Expectations

In many of my 2D barcode campaign reviews, I comment about code scan expectations and how an advertiser should provide some sort of clue or description along with a code, so that a consumer will know where they are being directed or what action they can expect next, once a code is scanned. While that may be all well and good in relation to the consumer, I believe it's just as important to manage code scan expectations in the relation to the advertiser, as well.

Whether a 2D barcode-based advertisement is formulated and executed well or not, often times I wonder, what does the company expect to get out of the ad? What are their goals and objectives, as they may relate to the code and it being scanned? Is the advertiser interested in building overall code awareness, generating sales leads, driving actual product/service sales, strengthening brand loyalty, creating media buzz, etc., etc.? Even if it is a matter of the advertiser experimenting with 2D, here too the question can be asked, what's the end game?

Regardless of using 2D codes in a B2C or B2B landscape, advertisers should have their own set of expectations, realistic expectations, surrounding each and every campaign. By doing this, it not only helps in determining the overall success or failure of a campaign and/or ROI, but it may even help in the creative and strategic planning process of a campaign. To know what is expected as an outcome may help to drive the direction of building a 2D-based campaign to the point that the finished campaign is complete on all fronts. For example, if the campaign is intended to be a lead generation campaign then the advertiser will know that as they develop the campaign they must include a strong/relevant call to action, an incentive or offer to respond to, a contact information gathering device, a follow-up mechanism, etc.

By setting corporate-based expectations, an advertiser will be able to recognize that the 2D campaign, as a whole and in all of its various parts, was produced and implemented correctly or not, instead of attributing campaign success or failure solely to the technology itself. In other words, when a campaign wraps, an advertiser should not look to the code for answers, but to themselves.

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