4.30.2012

Who Pulls the Mobile Barcode Strings

Recently, I met with the CEO of a company that sits at the forefront of print to mobile technology (i.e., mobile barcodes, digital watermarks, augmented reality, near field communications, etc.), and is well-respected for the campaigns they produce on behalf of their clients, as well as the market/industry research they conduct and publish.

During our meeting, I asked the CEO who he felt was the person (title) most responsible for making the strategic and/or tactical decision(s) to use print to mobile technology in their advertising, and he said that he simply did not know. He said that it could be anyone from the chief marketing officer, to the creative director, to the person in charge of mobile, to an interactive manager, etc., etc. From his perspective, it seemed as though there was no one person (title) responsible for making these decisions. While the CEO's response may surprise some, or many, it did not surprise me, because my experience has been very much the same. I have spoken with dozens and dozens of companies about their print to mobile campaigns, and I am at a loss to say that there is often one person (title) that seems to be in charge when it comes to managing the campaign (i.e., development, implementation, strategic planning, user experience, etc.).

Because there appears to be such a black hole when it comes to who's in charge, I thought to conduct some quick and dirty research via a poll on LinkedIn. In my 2D/QR Barcode Strategy & Creative LinkedIn group, as well as several others, I asked the question: Who in the company (the brand, not the agency) is in charge of making strategic decisions when it comes to making use of mobile barcode technology? I then offered the following response choices: chief marketing officer, creative director, digital/interactive director, media planner/buyer, other.
 
After keeping the poll active for a week, only about a half dozen people responded so, unfortunately, there is no way to draw any real and meaningful conclusions, which is disappointing. But then, one may ask, does it really matter who makes these decisions regarding the use of print to mobile technology? Perhaps it doesn't but, in my mind, there seems to be some sort of connection between, who's at the helm and why print to mobile campaigns often fail. Maybe it's just me, but knowing that the technology and its best practices have been in the market now for over two years in earnest, why are brands still getting it wrong? The use of the technology should be relatively simple and easy, but for many there still seems to be a struggle. Maybe it's less important to know who the actual person (title) is behind a print to mobile campaign than it is to know that there is at least one person responsible for pulling the campaign together from all points. Maybe the team approach does not work here and it needs to be left to just one person (title) to run the campaign from end to end and start to finish. But this person needs to understand the technology, its best practices and how it integrates with other elements of the company's marketing mix and/or marketing goals.

What's your thought?

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