Who’s Behind This QR Code

Last week, I ordered some items from Diapers.com. When I received the package, there was an insert from Rosetta Stone, the foreign language company, or at least that’s who I thought the insert was from at first. Upon closer inspection, the insert was co-branded with Barnes & Noble and when the QR Code on the insert was scanned, it linked me to a Barnes & Noble mobile website.

Judging from the insert, it seems as though Rosetta Stone mass produces these inserts and provides space for customization by the retailers that carry their software and materials, or that’s my guess. Regardless, the insert is all about promoting and selling Rosetta Stone software.

When I am linked to the Barnes & Noble site, I am brought to a product shopping page that features Rosetta Stone online subscriptions and software packages. When I click on a number of different links on the page, they all seem to go to the company’s main website, the desktop version. Why is that? As a reader of the blog once commented, “If you start on a mobile page, end on a mobile page.” There is no reason, other than sheer laziness, for a company to link a mobile page to a desktop page. Sure, the company can site cost, resources, development capabilities, time, etc., etc., as to why a full mobile site was not created and to that I say, “rubbish.” Either you commit fully to a mobile platform or you don’t. Either you want to provide an ideal client/brand experience via mobile or you don’t. So, what’s the problem?

Overall the company’s mobile site offers a great deal of information and enables mobile shopping, but again, why the need to jump back and forth between platforms? With respect to the QR Code, the company, I assume Rosetta Stone, did list a call-to-action (Proven to work. Prove it to yourself.), but no copy as to how to scan the code and what it will link to. Also, with all of the discounts that Barnes & Noble and/or Rosetta Stone seem to be offering, why not make mention of it on the insert to drive additional interest and/or incentive to scan the code and learn more?

With a product such as this (i.e., foreign language software), it seems to me that the scan resolve content could have been much more creative and interactive than just linking a consumer to a simple product page. Why not enable a demo of the product right there and then on a consumer’s mobile device? Or let the consumer play a foreign language word or sign game, or offer a chance to enter a contest and win something foreign language related, like a trip aboard. Linking a 2D code to a home page or product page is just another way for marketers to say, “we’re lazy,” and my question then is, can marketers afford to be lazy?

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL


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