As you probably already know, this was a huge week for Tag. After months of biting our collective tongue, we were finally able to announce that we have added QR and NFC to the Tag platform. With all the challenges marketers face in the rapidly growing mobile space, our move to consolidate mobile tagging has come as welcome news for marketers and consumers alike.
To add to the exciting news, we’ve been getting overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community and stakeholders. But, to me the best part of the announcement is that I finally get to talk openly about it! If I had to hold back much longer I might have gone bonkers.
Impact on the Market
Over the last several months I’ve had dozens of conversations with influencers and enthusiasts in the marketing community regarding mobile tagging. Based on those conversations, I’ve put together a few points that highlight what the announcement will mean to them:
- Expect mobile tagging adoption to grow even faster. Whether it is NFC, QR or Tag—having one reader that scans them all will eliminate the need for consumers to manage a bevy of scanning apps. Couple that with the built-in sharing features and scanning history in the Tag app, and you get a platform for some really powerful implementations.
- More choices mean more sophisticated campaigns. The Tag platform already has features that enable targeted mobile experiences for users. Now that marketers have access to a single end-to-end solution from the reader to analytics for Tag, QR and NFC, they will be able to more easily measure and refine their tactics. Hopefully the time saved researching mobile tagging services, comparing success rates and trying to figure out what reader to promote will allow marketers to design more innovative implementations.
- Expect a more potent ecosystem. One of the lesser-known features of the Tag platform is that it has back-end APIs and an SDK for the Tag Reader. These tools provide great opportunities for partners to build a business around them. Now that Tag has given a hint at the direction we’re taking in tying multiple triggers into a single platform, our solution has become fertile ground for an exciting partner ecosystem.
Questions from the Community
Amidst all the excitement over the last few days, some questions have bubbled up that make sense to address. Here are a few of the big ones I want to talk about in light of our announcement.
“Why make the move to support QR and NFC?”
Beyond the fact that adding new formats to the platform helps consolidate a fragmented market, it makes our solution more attractive to customers. This is the first step in offering marketers more options that are tied together by an end-to-end mobile tagging platform.
For some of you the announcement came as a surprise, but we’ve been hinting for a while now that our vision for Tag goes beyond simply offering another format. Without being able to come out and reveal our plans directly, we dropped some hints along the way. Here are a couple posts where we were looking to clue you in.
“When will we hear some numbers on QR and Tag scans all up?”
We’ve always held that engagement within well-executed campaigns is more indicative of success than aggregated numbers. We have thousands of accounts using the Tag platform that continues to grow at a fast clip. With our announcement we expect interest to grow even further. That said, to give indicators of the kind of impact marketers can make using Tags we can look to examples like Allure and This Old House garnering 576k and 234k scans respectively and Women’s Day receiving some 600K contest entries as a result of Tag.
“Will we be able to generate QR codes and NFC tags in Tag Manager?”
Yes! In fact, you will be able to enjoy all the same services you had with the Tag format when you chose QR or NFC. There is one catch with QR though: because there are other readers that scan QR codes, you won’t be able to get some of the more advanced reporting features such as real time location for everyone that scans. If they don’t use the Tag reader, that data doesn’t come through (which is true for any QR provider that offers advanced reporting). In a nutshell, if you want deep insights into who is scanning it makes more sense to stick with the Tag format.
“Does the updated Tag app work on all phones?”
Tag barcodes work with Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and J2ME. QR Codes are supported with the latest version of Windows Phone, iPhone and Android platforms. NFC will be initially available on NFC-enabled Android devices.
Hopefully that answers some of the biggest questions still out there. If I missed something, let us know on Facebook and Twitter.