Marketing Tips for QR Codes and Microsoft Tags

By · July 7, 2011 · Filed in Customer Engagement, Mobile Marketing, Social Media

QR Codes for Captivated Customers WebsiteYou’ve seen them – QR Codes. They are those funny looking data-matrix squares found on marketing materials, business cards, movie posters, t-shirts, etc.  QR Codes have been around since 1997 and have resurfaced as a new found marketing tool.  In fact, my latest Brookstone catalog last month was covered in QR Codes!

 Why QR Codes Matter

  • A Nielsen report  indicates Smartphones account for 31% of US mobile phone owners as of December 2010.
  • EMarketer predicts Smartphone ownership will reach 43% of the US mobile population by 2015
  • Morgan Stanley Research estimates sales of Smartphones will exceed those of PCs in 2012

In a recent blog article written by Ryan Goff titled Breaking: QR Code Stats Revealed, a survey conducted by MGH revealed why users would use a QR Code and that by using QR Codes, it makes your marketing to stand out from the rest:


What are QR Codes

The QR (Quick Response) Code is a low-cost, efficient technology Business Card can be used by small business owners to market their products and/or services or create brand awareness.  There are many ways to use these Codes on your website, social media sites, marketing collateral, business cards (see mine) or even use for your Facebook or Twitter ID (not sure I like this one).  To access the QR Code, simply download a barcode reader on your SmartPhone and scan away.  My QR Code directs you to one of my YouTube videos about customer loyalty.  

Creating QR Codes

Creating a QR code is simple.  I found QRinkle which enables you to create a trackable QR Code at its optimal size of 1” to 1.25”.   Based on my research, a png or jpg file will work on most websites. However, when doing larger-scale printing, you will typically need a high-resolution image that doesn’t lose quality when resized.  According to Qrinkle, by using Google Analytics on your website or mobile website, you can specify campaign information to allow you to track each generated code within your Analytics.  Good stuff.

Question:  What ways have you used QR Codes for your small business marketing?

 What is a Microsoft Tag

Customer Loyalty Microsoft TagA Microsoft Tag is a newer technology developed by Microsoft in 2009. It looks different than a QR Code and is customizable.  To use this service, you must register for a Microsoft account.  One plus is that the Microsoft Tags allow a much smaller size than QR Codes.  The Microsoft Tags service features built-in analytics, but more importantly, you can change the content behind the Tags through your Microsoft account.  Start an account and create your own MS TagHow do you decide which one to use:  QR Codes versus Microsoft Tags?  Which one would you use and why?  My advice is keep it simple.  If QR Codes are good enough for Brookstone, they are good enough for me.  Most importantly, begin to use QR Codes or Microsoft Tags to provide a richer engagement with your potential customers.  Get crazy with QR Codes!


  • Lisa Raymond

    Given what is understood about QR codes and known about Microsoft, I’d definitely use the QR codes. They have been around longer and have many generators/readers to help viewers get where they want to go online.

  • Lisa Raymond

    Given what is understood about QR codes, I would use and recommend this technology. QR codes have been around longer than Microsoft tags, are more widely known and recognized, and have many generators/readers to help viewers get where they want to go online fast.

  • Mike Van Horn

    Do MS tags depend on color for their meaning? Color is a lot easier to misread than black and white. I often photograph notes on white boards, and I see how color is distorted by, say, even the type of fluorescent bulbs used in the room.