Customized QR Codes – A Follow Up

Yesterday, I wrote an article about customized QR Codes and today, I found an advertisement in The New York Times for SPDR Gold Shares, an investment product called an exchange-traded fund (ETF), which features just such a code.

Question to the marketers at State Street Global Markets, which is more important or of greater concern, the placement of the ETF’s ticker symbol (GLD) on the QR Code, which means very little to the consumer and does virtually nothing to further the brand, or to increase a consumer’s ability to scan the code? If it’s a matter of the latter then why bother to make use of a customized code and, more importantly, why not generate the code with a shortened URL which, in turn, will enable for more successful scanning? Due to the density and color of the code, it took me several attempts to scan it, so I wonder if a 2D first-timer would be as patient? Probably not.

Two more questions to SSGM. If the QR Code stood alone, away from the SPDR brand icon and the advertisement itself, would a consumer really recognize and know what the GLD logo on the code represented? My hunch, probably not. And, knowing that SPDR offers many different ETFs, does this mean that each fund gets a customized QR Code when advertised? If that’s the case, how does this reinforce or further promote the SPDR brand? My hunch, it doesn’t, it can’t.

As mentioned in yesterday’s article, there are a number of technology and marketing related best practices to know about and implement, in order for customized codes to work successfully and optimally, but it does not seem as though SSGM wishes to pay heed. Can anyone say, bandwagon?


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