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Great points @Mikinzie The part that sticks out most to me is your let down with Mac. Leading to a non mobile-optimized sight is the quickest way to hike up your bounce rate as an advertiser. Like you mentioned, offers such as coupons or a contest can be very effective. It sounds like Mac was actually targeting the right audience, but delivered the wrong experience. The Allure campaign for Microsoft Tag generated almost half a million scans which is pretty compelling for any marketer. You can check out more about the campaign here if you're interested: http://tag.microsoft.com/tag-in-action/success-story/t/Allure_Campaign_Achieves_Record_Results.aspx
The value of being able to use your smartphone to get more information on something while in the moment of interest is high in almost any context. While that value can be delivered by 2D barcodes, or possibly other triggers (NFC, image rec, voice) if it isn't done right it will hurt more than help (as you pointed out).
3 years, 6 months ago on Should You Use a QR Code?
@JayBaer BTW - if it's any consolation, we have a success story on your implementation - http://tag.microsoft.com/tag-in-action/success-story/t/Business_Book_Adds_Depth_with_Tag.aspx
Perhaps a guest post is to follow?
3 years, 6 months ago on Does QR stand for Quasi-Ridiculous? (an analysis)
@JayBaer We'd love to get a post from you on our blog as well! It can be a showdown between two social media titans - The winner can be decided by the number of RT's ;)
I think your post does a good job of highlighting the fact that too much of the focus on 2D bardcodes is on the novelty of the format, and not enough thought goes creating a customer experience. A clear call to action (which, as you mentioned, doesn't exist on this particular ad) should lead to an experience that considers the context of the person scanning. I think over time as people become more familiar with the technology, more thought will be put into the best way to use 2D barcodes.
Several people mention in comments that the number of sub-par implementations can be discouraging, but it also tells me that because they are disappointed they must have high expectation for what should be done with the technology. Something you highlight in this post that I hear over and again is that 2D barcodes should minimize the barriers for people to engage with a brand in someway, and the experience should consider the context of how/when/why the scan takes place. Perhaps this will give commenters reason for some optimism: A well executed use of 2D barcodes (in this case Microsoft Tag) was done by Porsche. They used a two-prong strategy to deliver content to the person scanning that considers the context of the medium and location the scan takes place. In a nutshell, if a Tag is scanned in the showroom it delivers information on the vehicle. If a scan takes place on an ad outside the store the content aims to get the interested party into the nearest showroom. Here's more information on the use case if you're interested: http://tag.microsoft.com/community/tag-blog-item/11-07-18/Porsche_Drives_the_Mobile_Conversation.aspx?category=
Jason Falls also touches on this idea of delivering a great backend experience on our Tag blog: http://tag.microsoft.com/community/tag-blog-item/11-06-29/The_One_Thing_Your_Tag_Strategy_Needs.aspx?category=tag%20tips
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The best way to use a 2Dbarcode and have control over changing the back end experience at any time is to use Microsoft Tag. It's kind of the next generation of QR Codes and is being used a lot in print media.
3 years, 7 months ago on Twelve Steps to A Strong QR Code Campaign