According to a recent post by Andy Hasselwander at the B2B Marketing Confidential blog, Microsoft's biggest announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in January was their version of QR codes called Microsoft Tags. These little wonders (two-dimensional color codes) can contain a bunch of information, and are easily readable by cell phones.

Already a huge hit in India and China, QR codes are basically barcodes that can be put, well, just about anywhere. Microsoft Tags are already causing a buzz regarding their potential use in business. Microsoft suggests marketers can use the tags for:

  • Business cards. Snap a tag on a card, and get bunches of info.
  • Links to Facebook/Twitter. Clients can snap your code to keep track of your chats.
  • Real-estate listings. Snap a tag on a For Sale sign, and take a virtual tour inside.

Hasselwander offered a few more B-to-B applications off the top of his head. Marketers could put codes:

  • All over events. Snap them to create an attendee portfolio, or connect with prospects and sponsors.
  • On hardware components. Snap to get IT help from the right person for each specific unit.
  • On product displays, or in brochures. Snap to get a coupon, gain loyalty points, etc.

"There are probably 10,000 other applications" for the tags, he imagines. "I think with some heads-down time, you could come with many more meaningful B2B applications."

The Po!nt: Time to play tag. "I don't say stuff like this too often," Hasselwander concludes, "but this is exciting."

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