2D Barcode Implementation, What to do First

As the adage goes, we learn from our mistakes. If you represent a company or agency that is interested in using 2D barcode technology, perhaps I can help you learn how to successfully develop and implement a 2D-based strategy or campaign without having to experience the trials and tribulations, as well as the expense and embarrassment, of making mistakes. 

While reading the corporate blog of a full-service interactive agency, I came across the paragraph below in a post about 2D barcodes and how to use them. “The first step for businesses is to choose which barcode you would like to create. The second step is to create the barcode. Company X has created barcodes for a number of clients and offers the service through our Mobile division. The third step is to publish the barcode electronically or physically print it on marketing materials. A barcode could also be printed on a sticker or insert to be mailed or included with a product. The last step, and possibly most important, is measuring the campaign through analytics.”

Although this is a very simplified set of instructions, do you see what’s missing? There is absolutely no mention of strategic or tactical goals and/or objectives, as they relate to the campaign, the 2D barcode, the call to action, the offer, the incentive, the scan resolve content, the mobile devices used to scan, the target audience, the user experience, etc., etc. In my mind, all of this is much more important than “measuring the campaign through analytics.” If the strategy and tactics of the campaign are not properly addressed upfront, during the planning stage and before choosing the type of 2D barcode to use, then there won’t be any analytics worth measuring and the point becomes moot.

While I do not wish to make any generalizations, if the paragraph above accurately represents how companies and agencies think about 2D then it should come as no real surprise that many of their 2D-based campaigns fall short or fail outright. It is imperative for companies and agencies to do their homework, take their time and invest as needed in order to craft a truly winning 2D-based campaign. And, by winning, I mean a campaign that achieves its strategic and tactical goals and/or objectives however they may be defined.


2 thoughts on “2D Barcode Implementation, What to do First

  1. Until the term “QR campaign” becomes synonymous with cohesive end-to-end campaigns, where the barcode is simply one part of the equation, we're all doomed to see a continuation of #fails.

    People's mobile devices are intensely personal, cyborg-like, extensions of ourselves. I've been using the line:

    “…A QR code is like offering a handshake with a person, before starting a conversation. If they take your hand, you owe them some value in return.”

    The “handshake” is just a brief moment that creates a new connection. It's important, but it can't be the focus, it's only a component of the whole.

    I see so much emphasis on the code (format, look, placement, will NFC take over? etc.) and so little emphasis on cohesion and value delivered, all resulting in missed opportunities while further risking alienating consumers from future handshakes.

    Dumb campaigns for smart phones? Let's hope they evolve to a new level soon.

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