If you are creating content and need people to see it, you have to make sure that they can see it.
And as the lines between the online and offline worlds become blurred, deliverability becomes a bigger issue.
This is especially prevalent in the realm of marketing. QR codes are the latest, hottest way to deliver ideas. These are codes that combine your offline and online world by using the capability of your mobile device.
You can have mobile online content delivered to you wherever you may be walking around – like a subway station. Instant delivery of information is very powerful – especially in a world obsessed with instant gratification. Except it’s not so powerful when the delivery fails. Rather, it is disappointing.
The other day I was walking in the Upper West Side of Manhattan when something caught my attention. It was a banner hanging from a building with a huge QR code.
Judging by the label on the banner, it was created by the Rutgers Presbyterian Church.
Talk about creative!
I was across the street. I quickly crossed the street and pulled out my iPhone to try and scan the QR code on the banner.
Even though I don’t have much interest in a Presbyterian Church, they caught my attention. This was marvelous marketing.
…Until they didn’t deliver.
Creativity Trumping Deliverability
The banner showed up too small within the confines of my QR Code scanner. I tried several of them (I like to have options so I have a few apps that do the exact same thing…weird?).
I walked up closer to the banner to try again. Still too small.
So I walked a little closer. Now the banner was at a weird angle and couldn’t be scanned.
The end result? I was the idiot walking up and down the crowded street trying to scan a banner that couldn’t be scanned.
Maybe it wasn’t their fault. Maybe it was a problem with my phone, or the apps I was using. But there is no shortage of people in NYC with iPhones. And given that I tried out a few different scanners, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a problem with the app I was using.
This is the perfect case of being creative at the expense of actually delivering the content.
I think that they would have been better off sacrificing a bit of the creativity in order to actual deliver on the inherent promise of content that comes with a QR code.
Putting the code right on the banner was a novel idea, but it just didn’t work.
They could have easily used that same colorful banner with a sign that said something like “Scan QR Code Here” with an arrow pointing at the wall under the banner. Then provide a regular-sized code on the wall that people could scan.
Yes, the number of people that would actually walk up to the wall to scan the code might have been lower than the number of people trying to scan the banner from the street. But all of those people would have actually seen the content on the other side. The conversions would be much better (and isn’t that what it’s all about?).
Plus, that would have a built-in call to action. And people respond well to those.
So what do you think? Was this creative marketing or just a bad attempt at it? Have you ever been disappointed because of a deliverability issue? Let me know below.
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