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Real Time Location

Customize your mobile experience for consumers based on their location

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As long as you’re sending marketing messages to your customers’ smartphones, wouldn’t it be nice if you could target your messaging based on where they are? With Microsoft Tag, you can do just that by adding Real Time Location (RTL) information to a URL Tag.


Real Time Location information is returned when scanning a Tag barcode, QR Code, and NFC touchpoint created on the Tag platform and scanned using the Tag app. If your QR Codes or NFC touchpoints are scanned using a third-party app, we cannot guarantee that Real Time Location information will be returned. For this reason, we recommend that you use Tag barcodes for RTL experiences as they provide more consistent and reliable location results.


Mobile experiences that are actionable and engaging

By incorporating location awareness into marketing campaigns, you can deliver mobile experiences that are highly actionable and engaging. Say, for example, you add Real Time Location to a Tag barcode on a direct-mail flyer advertising an exhibit or event. When people scan the Tag at home with their smartphones, they might see more details or be directed to purchase tickets. When the same poster Tag is scanned on-site, attendees could view the exhibit schedule or special offers.

Results based on location

You can also use a Tag barcode with RTL on different materials and have it show results based on location. For instance, a restaurant menu might display a Tag that, when scanned, delivers coupons or advertises special deals. Scanning that same Tag on a direct-mail insert at a customer’s home could provide directions to the restaurant’s closest location.

A current, relevant mobile experience

Using Real Time Location with any of Tag's recognition technologies gives updated results each time it is scanned, so no matter where consumers go, they always get a current, relevant mobile experience. A Tag barcode with RTL scanned in a magazine ad for shoes will always show the nearest retailer with the shoes in stock, no matter where the consumer scans the Tag.

Adding RTL to your Tags

You can create or update any URL Tag with location awareness by adding parameters for longitude, latitude, postal code (including international codes), or a combination of the three. Scans are returned within a half-mile radius. The Tag app can deliver location-aware experiences on the Windows Phone, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, J2ME, and Symbian.

Find out more

Check out our Using Real Time Location Awareness instructional guide (.pdf). For technical information on using Real Time Location with URL Tags, see the RTL page in our Developers section.

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