Last Friday, Microsoft (client of Waggener Edstrom) announced that they were pulling Microsoft Tag out of beta following their initial announcement of the tool 18 months prior.
Though barcode technology has been around for a bit, Microsoft Tag caught my attention as an extremely user-friendly resource. You simply have to download the application to acquire the mobile reader and then log on to the Microsoft Tag site to begin creating tags.
The ease of use with this technology has already caught fire. According to the Microsoft blog:
“…more than 1 billion Tags have been printed by people and businesses all over the world. In the month of April alone, more than 20 million magazines with Tags were in the hands of U.S. consumers…
Today we can imagine a world where any physical object can become a gateway to a world of digital content and engagement: Scan a product in a newspaper, get a personalized offer, buy it on the spot, or get directions to the store to buy it later. Or, scan a poster for a play, see a preview of the performance, invite friends, and buy tickets.”
Alongside the ideas noted above, the Tag site does a fantastic job of presenting additional ways to utilize the technology.
In brief, here are 5 reasons that PR and Marketing pros should consider putting this tool to use:
1. It’s FREE – Everybody loves free. Whether you’re marketing a product, pushing a nonprofit cause or focusing on personal branding, this is a great free tool to add to the arsenal.
2. It’s EASY – GoMo news provides some nice screenshots to walk you through the dashboard layout and simple setup. Creating the badges below took me all of five minutes.
3. It’s VERSATILE – Once you create the badge, you have a small, adaptive tool that can be used digitally or printed for offline engagement via a flyer, etc.
4. It’s DIRECT – As of now, you can utilize a barcode to direct someone to a URL, send a text message, download a vCard or dial a phone number. These actions open up a host of creative opportunities for application. As an example, try scanning the two barcodes I’ve created below.
5. It’s MEASURABLE – The analytics tool provides an assortment of display options and I would imagine that it’s only a matter of time before location-based tracking is integrated.
How can you envision putting barcode technology to use in your own work?