A Costly QR Code Experience

As a lover of rare and old books, I always enjoy reading through Bauman Rare Book’s advertisement found on the back of the Book Review Section of Sunday’s New York Times. This week’s advertisement featured a QR Code which, when scanned, linked to the company’s 36-page digital gift catalogue.

As wonderful as it may be to view a digital publication such as this on a desktop platform, this type of digital output does not work well or even belong on a mobile platform. Yes, the pages (eventually) loaded on my mobile phone, but the functionality that is offered for desktop viewing hardly translates well on a mobile phone. So the question needs to be asked, why did the company’s marketing team choose to take the easy way out and just link the QR Code to preexisting desktop content?

While there is little doubt that a lot of time, money and resources went into the development of the company’s digital gift catalogue, what’s more costly, these development expenses or the cost of disappointing a potential customer with a less-than-ideal 2D/mobile experience and the chance of missing out on a sale? In my mind, it’s the latter.

When building a 2D campaign, it’s essential to do so from the consumer’s vantage point, not the company’s and not the marketers, period. If Bauman’s marketing team really took the time to view the code’s scan resolve content then they would know first hand, and quickly at that, that the scan content in this format simply does not work. Could a mobile website have been created to hold the intended scan resolve content? Yes, it could have been.

2D Barcode Strategy Litmus Test: FAIL


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