Did you read "The code on using bar codes" in Internet Retailer earlier this month? If not, check it out. Associate Editor Katie Deatsch details how she recently spotted a QR code on a trash can in Puerto Rico – with no instructions or reasons why someone should scan it. (Something tells me this would fail Roger Marquis’s 2d Barcode Litmus Test.)
Deatsch explains the problem succinctly: "[I]n order for marketers to benefit from bar codes, consumers must first have very clear instructions about how to use them and what’s in it for them if they do. All it takes is a line of text telling consumers to download a free bar code scanning app, how to scan the code, and the reward that lies ahead if they do." Nicely put. One or two phrases can take you from indifference and zero ROI to engaged customers and enlightening data.
While mobile tagging is growing, assuming everyone is barcode-savvy will get you nowhere (unless you work in Japan). This video, simultaneously funny and depressing, brings that point home:
As Deatsch says, you wouldn’t make your customers guess the URL for your e-commerce site…so don’t make them guess what to do with your Tag. Make the “how” and “why” clear to them, and then deliver mobile-optimized content that’s relevant and valuable. We’re here to help! Go forth and inform your customers – and reap the results of their engagement.
What do you think? Is it ever better to be mysterious when using mobile tagging? Let us know in the comments below or on Tag’s Facebook or Twitter. Just getting started with Tag? Go ahead and pick our brains, here are some of the ideas we've been thinking about.