2011: The Year of 2D Coding

Mar 30, 2011

It has been predicted that 2011 will be the breakout year for mobile marketing. With apps available for phones like the Android and BlackBerry, and with more than 350,000 available iPhone apps, it only makes sense to market directly to these devices.

Specifically, 2011 is being predicated as the breakout year for 2D coding. Although the technology was invented in Japan in 1994, it has just recently been updated and applied to mobile phone applications, making it easier to use on both the consumer side, as well as the business side.

Microsoft Tags is leading the way in 2D barcodes that are customizable, easy to use and free. Businesses can create a Tag that links to their webpage, or other online resources, and can attach the Tags to posters, flyers, marketing materials…the list goes on and on. People can then scan the Tag directly from their phone which will instantly direct the user to the destination businesses set their Tag to go to.

While 2D coding is great for large businesses like USA Today who added a Tag to their newspaper that takes readers directly to their online version, or Allure Magazine’s annual Free Stuff Giveaway that enlisted 444,572 barcode scans, the largest barcode campaign to-date, I think 2D coding can be just as beneficial, if not more, to small businesses.

Small businesses can add Tags to their ads in local publications, flyers left at other businesses, or business cards handed out to potential contacts. With 2D coding technology, businesses are no longer at the mercy of someone remembering to pull out their card or flyer and enter their long URL, but can access information online instantly. Microsoft Tag also provides businesses with advanced analytics to measure campaign effectiveness with enhanced reporting, such as the number of scans of a particular Tag over time and by geographic location. Whether you’re a photographer with a Tag linking to your online portfolio or a restaurant with a Tag offering a discount, EVERYONE should take advantage of 2D coding.

One last piece of advice: Though it may be its breakout year, 2D coding is still widely unknown to consumers. Be sure to add a quick line of copy explaining what it is and where they can download the code reader.

It’s only February, so join the 2011 mobile marketing bandwagon with 2D coding, and look for more ways to integrate mobile marketing into your 2011 strategy in the very near future.