QR Codes and Microsoft Tags

Pay attention. This stuff is hot, VERY hot. And it's going to get hotter.

If you're in business, you already know what "apps" are - mini applications for everyone's smartphones. Did you know that most smartphones come loaded with an application to read two-dimensional bar codes? Do you even know what two-dimensional bar codes are? How about why they're going to become very important?

Bar codes have been around for years. Everything you purchase has one for pricing, inventory control, etc. Now we also have 2-D codes: QR (for "Quick Response") and Microsoft Tags. Essentially they both do the same thing with one important difference - Microsoft Tags route through the Internet and allow for some data collection (and therefore, later analysis), whereas QR codes work only locally.

    How can this benefit your business? You'll be amazed. A few examples:
  • A realtor can place a Tag on a brochure or sign. Anyone who "scans" the Tag with their smartphone is immediately taken to a virtual tour.
  • An auto repair shop can place a QR on a label inside a car's glove box. In case of a breakdown, the smartphone automatically dials their number.
  • A Tag on a business card can lead directly to a Facebook page.
  • Different QR bar codes can be used to test different marketing campaigns, offers, coupons, etc.
  • Add Tags to a direct mail campaign to boost interest - tell more of your story with a single click of a phone.
  • Does your favorite charity seek donations through the web? A QR code or Tag can allow a phone user to jump directly to a PayPal page and make a quick, easy donation.
  • We're using Tags to direct people to this particular web page.

We've all heard and read how smartphones will soon be used for over-the-counter purchases, even with vending machines. It's closer than you think. If your current mobile phone is not Internet-ready, your next one surely will be. It will automatically come with the necessary application to read QR codes as they exist now. All smartphones can download the free app to read Microsoft Tags, and it too is pre-loaded on some phones. As these devices continue to multiply exponentially, there will be a similar rise in the use of their scanning abilities to give the user quicker access to more information. Shouldn't it be your information?

These new codes can help you leap ahead of your competition at virtually no cost. And here's the best part - they are equally suited to small businesses as well as large ones. Call us today for more information. After all, we're specialists in small business printing, small business direct mail and small business marketing.

Some small print: Smartphones "scan" by taking a picture. Microsoft Tags are a service of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft Tags do not capture any personal information but can identify unique smartphone identifiers and can tell what kind of phone was used, how frequently the same phone was used with the same Tag and what general area the user was in when a Tag was scanned.

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