Do You Do 2D?

2D codes are popping up all over the place in marketing, entertainment, art and business. While the technology has been widespread in more “tech-nations” like Japan many question whether the use of 2D codes in the US makes sense for businesses or if the codes will find their place in the American market.

3GVision, the makers of one of the most popular 2D code reading apps i-nigma,  released their app usage report for the last quarter of 2010 and reported that the US ranked number one, and that US usage had quadrupled over the last year. Of course the increase in the number of smartphones in the American market has made the spread of 2D readers possible, and the number of smartphone owners is only going up.

So what’s the point and why should you care? HOW TO: Grow Your Sales and Revenue Using 2D Codes, a recent Mashable article, provides some great tips about using 2D codes to not just increase sales, but to add value to your brand for your users and customers and provide an opportunity to interact in less conventional ways. Analysts have said that in addition to using 2D codes to drive traffic to a website or making it easier for consumers to purchase your product, the codes also serve as a way to connect with a younger more tech savvy customer and can be used as a way to establish your company as a forward thinking enterprise.

This type of transmedia marketing tool not only adds a layer of interactivity to a brand or product, but also adds another layer to the world we live in.  2D codes give organizations from the Smithsonian to transportation authorities the ability to augment and embed information in our surroundings altering the way we perceive the world around us.

Do you agree that 2D codes are here to stay or are they just a fad? Should they be considered a real marketing tool or does their value stop at mere entertainment? Have you personally seen and used 2D codes?

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3 Responses to Do You Do 2D?

  1. shotlowr says:

    I’ve seen 2D codes a lot…mostly in magazines. Since I do not have a smartphone I’m rather left out on the trend. But, I do think the new level of interactivity created by new technologies is extremely interested. For instance, the newest episode of USA’s Royal Pains…urges the audience to download shazam and to turn it on during the show…to get exclusive videos, wallpaper, etc. Since I have my handy dandy ipad…I might just do this next time I watch.

    • Jessica says:

      Shazam is another interesting transmedia example! And there are all kinds of uses for it popping up. Have you seen any of your friends using the IntoNow app on Twitter and Facebook? It works with Shazam to identify what you are watching on TV and allows you to then post it to your social networks. I think this is one way that television marketers can get a little more bang for their buck out of tech savvy viewers…by leveraging this added content in exchange for letting your friends know that you like a show.

  2. bloomr says:

    I think that 2D codes are really interesting examples of explicit integrated marketing techniques. The idea of one medium offering a gateway to another medium is really the essence of integrated marketing.

    To answer your question as to whether they are just a technological fad or a valuable tool which is here to stay, I think it depends on how individuals companies are using the technology.

    When browsing through the mashable article about 2D codes it was apparent that some organizations are using the codes in really innovative ways. The codes are being utilized not only engage the consumer and subject them to multiple transmedia platforms, but also in ways which are very relevant to the particular industry.

    I really liked the American Airlines idea. It is not only a marketing strategy, but is also solves a problem:

    Countless times I’ve been sitting in traffic or on a train on the way to the airport, and my process everytime is the same…I go to Google, I search “Flight tracker,” And I navigate to the first option which tells me whether my flight’s on time or delayed. The American Airlines application solves this problem. By using the 2D Code on trains and roadside billboards, AA can monopolize this market and solve an inherent consumer problem.

    If companies can find useful and interesting ways for the user to interact with their 2D codes, I think that pretty soon it will become not only a norm in the field of integrated marketing, but rather an institutional, societal norm.