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Mobile Is the Message

(June 2010) posted on Mon May 24, 2010

Mobile tagging is an emerging solution that you can use to help your customers develop their brands and enable them to create a rich and robust experience for their end users.

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By Ben P. Rosenfield

We’re all living in a mobile world, so how do you leverage that, take advantage of it, and then build a business model around it that uses print as the origination point? We draw on it to protect and evolve our own business. We like it because it’s good for consumers. It makes life easier and more meaningful with tools that are easily engaged. For retailers, it’s good for business. It helps them create sales because their customers get what they want when they need it in their shopping experiences. Mobile tagging increases customer satisfaction and loyalty to brands, and it adds value to the physical product. If you can get detailed information about a specific product very quickly, it adds value. That’s where you leverage tags into mobile-retail applications.

Q&A with Microsoft

Answers provided by Anna Kim-Williams, public relations manager, Microsoft Startup Business Group.

What are some up-and-coming end-use applications for the technology?
Microsoft Tag sparks the imagination of the marketer. You can enjoy a movie trailer or mobile TV and video clips, exhibit details, or exclusive discounts—or get a map with directions automatically downloaded to your cell phone. You can even put a tag on your business card and someone can automatically get your details into their contacts on their phone just by scanning your tag. You won’t have to type out long URLs or send short codes any more. Check out for different ways you can use Microsoft Tag.

What are some other benefits?
Microsoft Tag allows you to create all kinds of content and easily change the content dynamically. Content is delivered through the browser automatically when the user reads the Tag. The Tag Reader is available on most smart phones. A detailed list is available on We are only starting to scratch the surface of what Microsoft Tag can do. There are numerous creative ways and scenarios where Tag can be used.

How flexible is the Microsoft Tag?
Tags can be created in color, black and white, or even personalized and can transform offline marketing media—print advertising, billboards, packaging, and merchandising in stores or on LCD displays, for example—into live links for accessing information and entertainment online. Tags can be included on all kinds of material: paper handouts, vCards, T-shirts, magnets, online, and even dog tags.

At what stage is Microsoft Tag’s development?
Microsoft Tag entered its beta phase on January 7, 2009. It’s still in beta and will be updated based on usage data, customer feedback, and other insights as necessary.

Tagging in Three Steps

1) Download the free Tag Reader application at and install the app on your mobile device.
2) Launch the app and aim your mobile device’s built-in camera at the high-color-contrast bar code (the mobile tag).
3) Capture an image of the mobile tag, then allow a moment for tag decoding. The resource associated with the tag, such as a Website URL, will then load on your mobile device.


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