Making Sense of Mobile Tagging

Bryce Marshall Mobile tagging is a category term for the creation and rendering of a two-dimensional bar code that is link to an online experience, accessed through a mobile device. There are two basic types of mobile tagging solutions. I will go into greater depth in a forthcoming column for the MMA, but here is a quick overview of the types of mobile tagging solutions.

Software-based Solutions

  • QR Codes: For “Quick Response,” these are the most commonly recognized 2-D code format, and commonly used throughout Asia and Europe. The code format is not proprietary and many providers offer applications for creating, rendering and scanning tags.
  • Microsoft Tag: Microsoft has a proprietary code format, and well-developed tools for rendering, managing and scanning tags. Microsoft Tags are quickly recognized by their CMYK color scheme.
  • ScanLife: ScanLife was early to the North American market, and now a well-established provider with a proprietary code format and scanning software pre-loaded on some devices in North America.

Software-free Solutions

  • JAGTAG: JAGTAG is a pioneer of software-free solutions that leverages MMS, email, and Twitter to drive interactions. They market the service as an attractive alternative to software-based solutions.
  • SnapTag: A similar concept as JAGTAG, with an interesting twist: the brand’s logo is the central component of the tag design, delivering a clearly branded tagging experience.

Both solutions have pros and cons. I prefer and recommend software-based solutions because the superior user experience is my primary consideration in most cases, and therefore the prevailing factor. I find the Microsoft Tag solution provides the best tools for rendering, managing and scanning tags. The software is widely available across device types and the download process is user-friendly.

Editor’s Note: Bryce was recently a guest on Brian Prow’s highly regarded mobile marketing podcast, MobileBeyond. Make sure and listen and forward the link to your coworkers and colleagues!

Bryce also will be published in an upcoming Mobile Marketing Association newsletter about this very topic. Bryce hits on a few points here, but goes much more in depth in the forthcoming MMA article – keep an eye out!

You can also still read his Making Sense of Mobile Marketing white paper!

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  1. Metha
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Quote: “I find the Microsoft Tag solution provides the best tools for rendering, managing and scanning tags.”

    I think you need to put in more than simply generalized statement as such.

    Personally I vote for QR code instead.

    Why? Personal experience: our company was able to deliver a QR based end-to-end full life cycle solution (create, hosting, tracking, revising, report/chart, manage over web + mobile, branding decorations) in just one month, FROM SCRATCH!

    Why? Because QR is open and free, not the one that you’d expect from Microsoft.

    I’m afraid your statement smells advertising…

    • Posted November 24, 2009 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      While the ease of using a QR code is a consideration for the company developing a campaign, the most important factor is the ease of use for the end user and the general level of adoption for a technology. Given the Microsoft mobile OS, and the fact that the MS Tag reader technology is standard with a Windows Mobile phone, the adoption of the technology and ease of use of MS Tags for the end user is best.

      Another important factor to consider is how much easier it is to access, download, and install an MS Tag reader than a QR reader. No matter what mobile OS a consumer has – Blackberry, Android, etc. – installing and using the MS Tag reader is easier than the QR reader.

      Knotice would even put together a focus group where consumers had to download, install, and complete an end-to-end consumer experience to prove the point.

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