B2B use of QR Codes…Could Be Better

Old Dominion, the freight transportation company, recently launched this print ad, which features a QR Code. Clearly, this is a B2B ad but, what’s less than clear is, where’s the value or benefit to the reader? Let’s take a closer look. 

First, after scanning the code, the reader of the ad is linked to the company’s desktop website. Nothing mobile here, which surprises me, because in the ad copy there’s a line which reads, “And you can track it all online or on your phone.” By that, I would assume the company understands the power, meaning and usefulness of mobile, yet they chose not to link this ad to a mobile website site or landing page, why? It also makes me wonder about the experience a customer may have if they used their phone to track a shipment. Is that experience and interaction mobile optimized? It certainly should be. 

Second, as a B2B ad, one might believe that a main objective of the ad is to generate sales leads. If that’s the case then, where are the necessary mechanisms to request and capture lead information? More importantly, where is the value offer in return for a prospect’s contact information (i.e., a white paper, price discount, etc.)? This is basic lead generation marketing, is it not, but maybe the company’s marketing team had other objectives for this ad.

Third, and this speaks to user experience in general, it appears as though the company has a slick new home page, but when clicks are made to deeper pages it looks like the page design reverts back to an older version of the site. Why? Also, there seems to be very pertinent information on these deeper pages (e.g., company information, contact information, help, services) that cannot be found on the home page. Why?

Considering the main image used in this ad, an astronaut, and the look and feel of the company’s new home page, it seems as though Old Dominion wants consumers to perceive the company as being technology-driven. If that’s the case, fine, but to say you are technology-driven and to be technology-driven are two different things. To offer a poorly executed mobile experience, or a website that is half leading edge and half less so, does not help support the brand’s persona as being technology-driven.

A missed opportunity by the company and I wonder just what the marketing team was looking to accomplish with this particular ad. 

2D Bar Code Litmus Test: FAIL


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