The Virtue of Naked QR Codes
By Heidi Tolliver-Walker on July 13th, 2012
I decided this morning that I like my 2D mobile barcodes naked.
I decided that when I saw the Sherwin Williams postcard advertising the company’s new line of paint. There was the Microsoft Tag, just hanging out there all by itself. No incentive. No text telling me how to use it. Just the Tag surrounded by empty space.
The first reason is personal. I don’t like marketing pitches and incentives. Either I’m interested in the product or the subject matter or not. Unless it’s something very obscure, I’m smart enough to figure out the difference very quickly. In this case, we’re looking to do some serious painting in the next few months, so regardless of whether there was text or not, an incentive or not, I’m interested in where that takes me.
So I like the simplicity.
The second reason is marketing. Okay, so it violates all the best practices, but you know what it does? It qualifies the respondent very quickly. There is a certain type of respondent who will scan a code without any explanatory text or incentive. It’s someone who is either very interested in responding via mobile or someone very interested in the product. Either way, it’s a far more qualified respondent than someone who — at this point in the lifecycle of QR Code adoption — is still needing instructions in order to use them.
In my case, Sherwin Williams got a double benefit from me. Not only did I go to the mobile-optimized page, but I also downloaded the ColorSnap color matching app and the Picture It Before You Paint app — almost guaranteeing that we’ll buy Sherwin Williams paint when the project is a go.
So do I like my 2D barcodes naked? Yes, I do, and sometimes, marketers should, too.