Quick Response (QR) codes were first developed in 1994 in Japan, but the popularity of smartphones has reinvigorated the technology and expanded how we are looking at ways to take advantage of it. You may have noticed Google Places has started taking advantage of QR technology so consumers can read reviews, leave reviews, or find coupons when they arrive at a place of business.
Think of QR codes in similar terms as a Universal Product Code (UPC), except UPC's can only represent numbers. QR codes can be used to represent text, web addresses and other data. Newer smartphones now include the scanning software necessary to take advantage of this technology, while a quick application download will integrate with older smartphones to enable QR functionality. Aim your camera phone at a QR code, and your smartphone does the rest!
Create your own QR code with our QR Code generator
Microsoft® launched their proprietary Tag platform in 2010 which works much like the QR codes.
Create your own Microsoft® Tag with our Microsoft® Tag generator
Whether you decide to use Microsoft® Tag or QR codes for your advertising, you must build a campaign around your tags if you want your customers to find value in them. Any type of business can use this type of campaign:
- tourist attractions
- retail stores
Finding strategic locations where you will place your tags is your first consideration. You can place tags on business cards, name badges, conference lanyards, coffee mugs, print brochures, digital signage, social media sites... the sky is the limit!
Then you must decide where you take people after they scan your tag. To be most effective, you should provide targeted information that is pertinent to the person who scanned your tag. For example, the tag on your business card should take people to your Digital Profile. A tag on a print piece may take people to a discount coupon they can redeem by showing their phone at the cash register.
And finally, if your website is not optimal for viewing on mobile phones, you should have a mobile website developed so people can easily obtain your information. If your website is not mobile-friendly people will not have easy access to your information and your campaign will not be successful.