Changing Consumer Behavior with 2D Barcodes

Adam Green
Thursday, Dec 01, 2011 at 10:00 AM

As 2D barcodes become commonplace, consumers are getting more comfortable interacting with brands on mobile devices. This is good because it means more people will be scanning more barcodes as time goes on. It does not, however, mean that the innovative use of 2D barcodes has reached its zenith. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

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There are numerous ways marketers can use action codes such as Tag to influence consumers. Over time, we may even change consumer behavior with respect to 2D barcodes and set standards for what we all come to expect after performing a scan. Here are some ideas to consider when it comes to changing consumer behavior with Tag:

1. Set the bar high. The sky is the limit, especially with Tag. Sure, you could always have a scan send users straight to your latest promo, but remember that greater interactivity means greater engagement with your brand. Why not use scans to enter users into contests? Or subscribe them to updates on a product line? Set a standard for consumer expectations, and set that standard high. Speaking of expectations…

2. Have consumers expect value. You can do this by providing that value–consistently. To encourage your audience to scan a Tag, tell them exactly what they're going to get. Use Tag as a call to action, and be clear about what's going to happen. The more attractive the reward, the more likely they'll be to scan.

Observers have already identified some areas where marketers could improve the level of engagement they receive through the use of 2D barcodes. Magazines, for instance, present a fantastic opportunity for the mobile and print worlds to converge, but advertisers are already finding that they need to provide greater value with barcodes if readers are going to act. This is one reason print mediums present an exciting opportunity to do new things with Tag.  

3. Keep up with 2D barcode trends. And act on them. For example, we now know that 20% of all smartphone users redeem mobile coupons. Use Tags to make offers that the data indicates will elicit a response from your audience. You'll engage them more easily, and you'll turn scanning the barcode into a more natural action over time.

4. Reach consumers at the right moment. Your audience is more likely to act if your timing is optimal. Consider the time and place someone will encounter your Tag. And use important dates to your advantage–especially if you have a holiday deal or special.

Be mindful of the setting in which someone is likely to scan your barcode. If it's a public location, you may not want to include audio. The sound could be difficult to hear or they may not want to listen out of respect for other people in the vicinity. Responses will be more positive when you take the setting into account.

5. Avoid the bandwagon. It's probably boring, and you don't want to be boring. For example, if everyone in your industry just directs barcode scans to existing content on their website, they're probably not adding much value to a consumer's experience. This is your chance to be a leader. Use Tag to connect with your audience in ways others haven't thought of yet. You'll encourage engagement and enjoy better results.

Also take a look at how other industries have successfully integrated Tag into their existing customer outreach. They may be doing something you haven't thought of yet, and you can leverage their experience to bring more value to your organization's marketing efforts.

6. Encourage brand awareness. One of the great things about Tag is its versatility and brandability when pitted against other 2D barcode technologies. While you can certainly use black-and-white Tags, you can also integrate your company logo or other identifiable elements of your marketing campaign. Tag can help consumers recognize your brand and associate it with the value you provide on mobile platforms.

Do you think consumers have grown more familiar with 2D barcodes like Tag? Let us know with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.


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