One out of five people worldwide owns a smart phone. Mobile tagging targets smart phone users by offering additional interactive content that is not available or feasible to place in print. For example, print ads and product literature containing mobile tags can take customers directly to a product video or an online store. Additional uses include links to specific pages on websites, RSS feeds, social networks and vcards. These tags have appeared everywhere from traditional print media campaigns to digital billboards in Tokyo, Japan.
QR (Quick Response) tags look similar to bar codes, and can be scanned by any hand-held device with QR reading software. Apps such as BeeTagg, ScanLife and MobileTag are available free for most versions of the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. Smart phone users simply take a picture of the QR code using one of these apps, and they are taken directly to the corresponding content online.
Each QR tag is unique, and can be used for tracking and measurement of ROI. Even tags that point to the same URL are different, making them invaluable marketing measurement tools. QR tags were first developed in Japan for the automotive industry to scan and catalog parts for a subsidiary of Toyota. The technology is becoming more commonly recognized by the general public in the USA as companies such as Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and Post Cereals adopt them for their marketing campaigns.