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Creating a Custom Mobile Experience

Keith Caswell
Tuesday, Nov 08, 2011 at 12:00 PM

It’s no secret that Microsoft Tag is an eminently functional and dynamic way of improving marketing materials, engaging with users and making your brand more accessible. But we’ve always prided ourselves on Tag also being a much more beautiful experience than most other barcodes. While people respond to functionality in a big way, it’s the charm and attractiveness of Microsoft Tag that we think really draws people to it.


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Tag’s level of customization allows for much greater visibility and engagement for campaigns of all kinds. Recently, in ads for the “Make It Great” campaign for Microsoft Office 2010, Tags that bore the Microsoft Office logo adorned the print advertising. This made them not only instantly recognizable, but also “added to the curiosity of the print ad and added a new level of interest,” according to Adelheid Kutscher, senior advertising manager for Microsoft Office 2010. This kind of specific mobile experience made users twice as likely to view videos from the mobile ads than from the banner ads.


Coupon clippers of all walks of life also saw Tag being used as a robust front end. In another example, Red Plum, a periodical for penny pinchers, created custom Tags to complement their branding and increase subscriptions for their thrifty newsletters. And the Tags themselves had—you guessed it—a red plum on them! This made them easily visible and unique enough to encourage curiosity and ease of scanning. The handy Tags allowed users not only to sign up for coupon newsletters and get promo codes and money-saving tips, but they also allowed bargain hunters to carry all the info they needed around with them right in their smartphone.


While Tag offers a beautiful and engaging front end for users to get more information about great content and services they want, Tag also shines as a back end for content management. Take, for example, a campaign by Eurest Dining Services earlier this year that was optimized for user engagement with a great back end experience. The company, which manages dining services for Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Wash., created a campaign using Tag to drive a mobile couponing game where players could win meal discounts and learn the nutritional information about the food they were dining on in the campus’ many cafeterias.


The campaign also kept players in the game by using Device ID, Tag’s method of linking scans to specific mobile devices. Users who scanned more often would win after every couple of scans, so the more that they interacted with the Tags, the more discounts they’d get. The flexibility of the backend allowed for variety in the contests, promotions and games when paired with the Tags on the frontend.


Take the beauty and visibility of Tags and pair them with an extensible back end and actionable analytics and you’ve got a recipe for some serious engagement optimization.


Can you think of some other great applications or customizations for Tags? Or perhaps you have some ideas on how Tag can provide a better front end or back end experience? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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