Digital Marketing Trend: Microsoft Tag

Microsoft Tag is a new experience in connecting the digital world with the real world.  By scanning a tag – a new kind of bar code – with your cellular phone, you can have immediate access to information, websites, videos, reviews and more.


When you scan a Tag displayed on an establishment or product, it will automatically open a web page and give you all the pertinent information.

  • What was said about the coffee shop you are looking at?
  • Who is the owner?
  • What other users said?
  • You can also see if the place is offering special deals.

Scan a Tag on a concert poster and you will get the dates of their next performance in your city, you could buy tickets or sample a song.  The Tag will display a massage, dial a number or add the contact to your address book.

Shopping, Microsoft says, has become a lot smarter and fun; Tags lets you discover interesting new places, it can give access to the things consumers love and then bring them together.

Tags are free to create and use. They can be added to ads, posters, websites, packages, billboards and clothing. And this is but a part of the list. Adding the Tag to your business card will enable the user to add your contact information immediately into their address book.

For merchants, using the Tag not only give them access to customers they never had before, it also enables them to create media campaigns and have advanced analytics to measure campaign effectiveness. This can give you detailed information where the Tag was scanned and what was your most popular ad location.

The Tag reader is a downloadable application from a single website (to eliminate confusion) and can be as small as you want it to be so it won’t interfere with the design. Tags can be customized to your brand’s specific look and feel.

Microsoft is using a cloud based technology that provides access to data that isn’t possible with other bar-code systems because of the amount of information a cloud can store. Unlike other 2D codes that have permanent information and are associated with a single URL, Tags allows you to change the data in its source, update is as frequently as you want, allowing you to reuse campaign materials.

You can create a Tag by going to their website at and sign in. Since May 2010, Tags has graduated from the beta trials and is now available everywhere. For some reason it caught on much quicker in Europe than in the US. In Amsterdam, for example, they are using the Microsoft Tag to advertise accurate bus schedules.

Since the beginning of its Beta trials and until May 2010, over 1 billion tags have been printed all over the world.


Special Thanks to David Tesser for presenting this technology and subject to me for the blog.

Blog Tag: URL 2D


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