This afternoon, I spoke with Thaddeus Kubis, President, NAK Integrated Marketing, about the use of 2D barcodes.
RM: Thad, for what types of companies have you created 2D barcode campaigns and what was the focal point of the campaign?
TK: We have used 2D barcodes for consumer product goods, sports and retail companies, as well as for B2B companies. The campaigns varied from shop on-line and click to get a discount coupon, to pass by the retail store and click the barcode in the window display for a discount coupon, gift, or other incentive, to using barcodes at trade shows to capture prospect contact information or to provide additional product information.
RM: What is the great advantage of using a 2D barcode in an advertisement, versus using a URL address?
TK: It is quicker and easier to scan/read a 2D barcode than it is to type a URL, especially when the URL might go beyond the home page and deeper into the site, for example, a landing page, where the URL can be quite long and tedious to type.
RM: Is there a greater click-through rate for 2D barcodes than for an on-line banner ad, click-through link, etc.?
TK: Currently, the data is too new to make a statement but, in Japan, where 2D barcodes have become very popular and widely accepted by consumers, barcodes outperform most other media for responses.
RM: Do you foresee 2D barcodes catching on here in the U.S. like they have in Asia and Europe, or will they be viewed as an advertising fad? If they do gain in popularity and acceptance, how do you see 2D barcodes being used in the next 1-3 years?
TK: I don’t think 2D barcodes are a fad. My team at NAK and I see 2D barcodes as an emerging technology that will expand over time and the uses will increase as well. With the inclusion of a firm’s logo within the barcode and less constrictive design use, more 2D barcodes will start to pop up. One issue which may slow the use of barcodes is that many mobile phones do not come with scanning software pre-loaded. Also, the issue of educating the consumer may play a large role in the speed by which barcodes are used and accepted.
RM: How does your agency consult on the use of 2D barcodes in a company’s overall marketing strategy? Do barcodes become yet another channel to promote through or does it replace something altogether?
TK: We suggest to clients that 2D barcodes be thought of as an additional response generation device. Although barcodes have seen a slow acceptance rate, many companies are now beginning to see their use in a different light.
RM: Are you aware of any best practices when it comes to creating barcode-based campaigns?
TK: Tough question. There are many concerns about how and what 2D barcodes are used for, but I believe it is too early for best practices to be defined or identified. There are some size limits, for example, codes smaller than 1/2 inch do not always read as well as planned.
RM: If a company decides to move ahead and make use of 2D barcodes in their marketing, what should they be aware of when it comes to barcode generators and or readers?
TK: Currently it would be a better plan to have a seasoned pro, even if that season has been short, to handle the project. As with all tools there are some levels of experience that would be helpful and not all code generators are the same. Barcode readers are a different animal, from my experience nearly all work well and read 90% of the codes in use.
RM: Thank you Thad.
About NAK Integrated Marketing
NAK has thrived for over a quarter century, helping companies connect with customers and prospects more cost effectively. NAK has been in the vanguard of the digital revolution in print, on the Internet and in cross media marketing communications programs. The company offers strategic and tactical solutions in these areas: personalized websites, emerging technologies, branded content, mobile apps, cross media, new media, SMS text, 2D barcodes and e-brochures. To reach NAK and you have a barcode reader scan the code below, otherwise email Thaddeus Kubis.