What? Did you actually expect to see a sexy looking designer QR Code here? I guess I set a certain expectation in your mind, but failed to deliver. Sorry, maybe I'll get it right next time.
Have you seen or experienced this scenario before, an advertising or promotional message that says one thing, but delivers on another or fails to deliver at all? You will, if you look at or interact with the vast majority of 2D barcode-based advertising campaigns in the marketplace today. As more and more companies choose to incorporate 2D technology into their advertising, fewer and fewer are actually delivering content, an experience and/or an offer that is of meaning, value and relevance, let alone meets or exceeds a consumer's expectation.
When a consumer decides to read a 2D-based advertisement, takes the time and makes the effort to take out his/her smartphone, launches a code reader app, scans the code and then is linked to a page or website that does not meet his/her expectations, this is when a consumer may not only shy away from scanning 2D codes in the future but, more importantly, the brand as well. Advertisers must recognize the fact that their 2D-based campaigns may trigger a variety of expectations in the minds of their audience, and that they not only need to manage these expectations, but meet them, especially as the expectations may relate to the 2D/mobile/user experience.
When trying to get a handle on setting and managing consumer expectations, as it relates to 2D, one of the more popular best practices that I refer to is for a company to base its campaign around the consumer and to ask, what's in it for them (i.e., the consumer), how do they win? Not, what's in it for us (i.e., the company), how do we win? Working from this frame of mind, companies will find it much easier to develop campaigns that truly deliver without disappointing. Also, it never hurts for a company to conduct some preliminary market research to understand what a consumer's expectations may or may not be with respect to the process of scanning a code, linking to a landing page, viewing and/or interacting with content and so on.
Because so much of what consumers hear or know about a product or service these days comes via word of mouth and/or social networks, the last thing an advertiser wants is for a negative experience or an unmet expectation (i.e., a failed 2D campaign) to get out and spread.
In summary, and I've written this before, advertisers need to do their homework regarding how best to make use of 2D technology, and they cannot be lazy if and when it comes time to implement the technology. And, mind you, all of this falls under the guise of setting, managing, anticipating and delivering on consumer expectations.