9.22.2011

How to Identify and Measure a Successful 2D Barcode Campaign

Recently, an interesting question surfaced on a LinkedIn discussion board, which read, "What set of criteria or indicators are used to determine the success of a barcode campaign?" Perhaps this is an area that you and your company are struggling with as well, so I will attempt to answer.

Advertisers can all look to number of code scans, number and type of pages clicked on, site entry and exit pages, bounce rates, number of products sold, etc., etc., but while the list of metrics may be the same from one 2D-based advertisement to the next, the actual determinants of success will vary, because the goals and objectives of the campaigns will, or should, vary. Here's an example: Advertiser "A" and Advertiser "B" both want to generate B2B sales leads via a 2D barcode campaign. Advertiser "A" sets a goal of 100 leads, whereas Advertiser "B" sets a goal of 1,000 leads. While the same metric may be used to measure each campaign (e.g., the number of leads obtained via the code scan), success can only be measured by the goal that each campaign has set for itself (e.g., either 100 or 1,000).

Or, let's look at it another way. Company "X" wants to use 2D technology to create media buzz about a new product and will be pleased with 10 new press mentions. Company "Y" wants to use 2D technology to sell more products via its mobile commerce channel and will be happy with $50,000 in sales. Two very different uses of 2D, both using different metrics to identify and determine success.

Each 2D campaign will have its own set of criteria or indicators, as well as goals and objectives, by which success can and will be determined, and this can be said of most any advertisement in general. For some reason, however, when it comes to 2D barcode tracking and measuring, a lot of people pay attention solely on scan rate numbers and are not focusing on the more important downstream numbers (i.e., post scan numbers) such as individual page traffic, time on site, social sharing and even, shun the thought, actual product/service sales. Sure, code scans may provide some useful information and answer some basic questions about the target audience, but certainly not all. Advertisers need to dig deeper to find meaning within the results of a campaign and to determine whether or not it was a success.

In summary, with no specific or standard set of criteria or indicators to use to determine the success of a 2D campaign, let alone baseline industry numbers or percentages to act as a guide, advertisers should conduct their own market/campaign research just as they would when making use of direct mail, email, landing pages, banner ads, etc. 2D is no different. Create A/B split tests, measure over time, measure frequency, measure ad distribution or placement, etc., etc.. If conducting this research can be done in-house great but, if you choose to use an outside 2D provider, ask what their capabilities are when it comes to conducting the type of market/campaign research described above.

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