2D Barcode Litmus Test

One question that I am frequently asked is, “How do I know if my company is using 2D barcodes the right way?” My answer, “Take the 2D barcode litmus test.” 

The 2D barcode litmus test is a relatively simple test in that it requires the asking of only one question, “Does the use of 2D barcodes truly enhance the overall customer/user experience?” If the answer is “yes” then the company is most likely using 2D in the right way and the strategy/campaign should be in fine shape. If the answer is “no” then additional questions need to be asked of the strategy/campaign. Questions such as, what does the code resolve to, does the code resolve work properly, what steps does the customer/user need to take, how does 2D integrate with other channels, etc.
In an ideal setting, these are the types of questions that marketers should ask from the on set, not after a 2D campaign has already been created and launched. Also, right on the heels of asking a question about enhancing the customer/user experience, marketers should ask whether or not any real value is being offered or delivered to the customer/user by way of the 2D campaign. Although closely related, in my mind, enhancement and value are two separate objectives. Enhancement, which speaks to a customer/user’s interaction with the company/brand (i.e., the purchase experience: before, during and after). And value, which speaks to what is received by the customer/user above and beyond the product or service that is purchased.


3 thoughts on “2D Barcode Litmus Test

  1. Hey Roger,

    You're completely right. QR codes must be used in an effective fashion, and they must come with mobile instructions as some people just don't know how to use them.

    Through extensive research I've found many examples of brands misusing them.

    We offer QR codes and EZ codes on promotional products!

  2. Would love to get examples of 'good' uses and poor ones. What distinguishes 'good' from 'poor' use of QR? Is it simply what the sender gets back, or is it the entire experience … which may involve slow downloads, long latency and buffering times, etc. What are your thoughts — real-world examples welcomed!

  3. A: In my mind, what distinguishes 'good' from 'poor' is that everything related to the code works as it should and optimized for mobile. If it's possible to optimize for a particular device that's even better. Instructions are provided along with the code, as well as URL addresses in case the code cannot be scanned. The scan resolve/offer/deliverable is meaningful, valuable, relevant, innovative, original, etc., not just a self-promotional piece on the product or company. I could go on, but I offer this in my paper on best practices.

    A few recently covered 'good' uses: Canon, GAP, FirstBank, Kellogg's.

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