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What Are These Funny Looking Barcodes?

2D codes: QR code and Microsoft Tag

How 2D codes can be useful for marketing?

2D codes can be placed on any printed materials, buildings, soda cans, etc.  and provide additional information about offers, coupons, or any company promotions.  Most mobile devices with a camera can take a picture of the code and quickly access the info.  Some 2D codes are completely free to use. 2D codes benefit both consumer and  marketer: consumers can reach the information quickly and marketers can measure success of their campaigns.

History of 2D codes

The most popular code – QR code – was invented in Japan; during the 90′s when all Japanese mobile carriers agreed to include QR reading software into their phones. QR codes can be created by anyone license free and most readers can be downloaded to any camera enabled smart phone for free – QR codes are widely used in Japan and now to appear in western countries, including the US. There is a range of proprietary systems, which have similar function but require payment.

A few types of 2D codes (US)

QR Code

How to generate:

How to download a reader: (or search for QR reader on your mobile device)

QR code is completely free for use. Success of the promotions can be measured by the traffic generated to the URL, which is easy to do through Web Analytics software. QR code as an open format is becoming more popular.

More information on QR code from Bee Tag.


Microsoft Tag

How to generate a tag:

How to download a reader:

Microsoft Tag is a proprietary tag which just celebrated its first anniversary and is currently free to use.  Microsoft might decide to charge for the use of the tag in the future, however, everybody who started a free trial will be able to use existing tags free for the next two years.

Microsoft tag can be published in a colorful format, black/white, and also in a custom format allowing more creativity for designers. Microsoft Tag provides an interface for management of all generated tags and tracking consumer activity.

Microsoft Tag works well in small sizes. If you are interested, click here for a concise technical comparison of Microsoft Tag and QR code.

More information:


Article courtesy of Interactive Snack


A Neil Enterprises employee grows her family Julie Techen, International Sales Manager, has returned to work after giving birth to Zachary Hayden Techen. Born Sunday, August 16th, 2009. Zach is Julie’s first child and we wish her the best of luck!

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