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5 Reasons You Should Be Using 2D Barcodes


Hey, what’s that gooney looking black and white box on your business card?  Yes, we’ve heard that before.  You’ve probably seen those gooney boxes more and more over the past year.  While the US is a little late to game, 2D Barcodes have been around a while, especially in Japan.  They offer some very nice benefits to mobile users, and mobile marketers.  Here’s 5 of them:

Extending Experience of Other Mediums

BMW and phoneLet’s use the back of our business card above as an example.  When a user gets one of our cards, and scans the 2D barcode, their mobile browser is directed to our mobile website.  When we hand out our business cards, we don’t want our communication with the recipient to end there.  We’d like to extend the experience they are having with us, by having them visit our mobile website.  If they are a lead or prospect, hopefully they decide to contact us. 

This can be done with just about any print marketing areas.  Newspaper, magazines, posters, billboards (please pull over first if you see one…), mailers, etc…  It takes the recipient of printed material and engages them to continue learning about your offering online, without them having to wait until they are behind a PC again.

Easier to Access Than URLs or Short Codes

Have you ever tried entering a long URL on a phone?  It’s no fun, even if there is a physical QWERTY keyboard on the device.  Barcodes take that work out of the equation.  It’s much easier to snap a pic and let your device do the processing. 

Short codes really aren’t much better.  While just about everyone knows how they work (text “blah” to 58213), it’s still not as friendly as simply snapping a pic.

Volume of Phones With Cameras

There are more phones out in the wild that have cameras than those that have physical or software QWERTY keyboards.  You can reach more folks! 

Chances are slim that you will get a T9 user to enter even a short URL on their feature phone or old flip phone, but snapping a picture is a piece of cake.


Carrier Support

Verizon Wireless
As mobile marketing has grown, so has carrier support for the various mobile marketing vehicles.  The use of 2D barcodes is no exception.  One of the challenges of 2D barcode reading is that there isn’t a clear winner in terms of standards and software.  This makes it a challenge for marketers choosing a Microsoft Tag over Scanlife or another QR Code company.  Now that the carriers are providing free access to the reading software and working with the developers of the software, we’ll see more access by more phones.

Recently the largest cellular provider, Verizon, decided to make the ScanLife software available for download on their devices.  AT&T the 2nd largest cellular provider has chosen Mobile Tag as their software provider. 


Tracking GraphFinally, one of my favorite benefits of 2D barcodes, trackability.  Yes, I made that word up.  Essentially, 2D Barcodes bring to the table a great method of tracking print and other marketing channels.  You can even go so far as to put a unique barcode on every single printed ad.  Then you would know exactly where a visitor came from.

The barcodes don’t have to just direct users to a website either.  You can queue up an email or text message so the user just has to hit send.  Being able to capture data on usage helps so much in determining whether one marketing method is as effective as another.

There Are More!

This list is certainly NOT all-inclusive.  There are many other benefits (cost being one), to using 2D barcode campaigns.  Leave a comment with any you have.

As always, feel free to contact us if you’d like to discuss a 2D Barcode campaign or any web marketing venues.