7 reasons open 2D codes are better than closed platform codes
Is it possible that the Microsoft Tag code platform (a closed source platform) could ever become the industry standard for 2D Codes? So went the debate this weekend on a Linkedin group site we’re members of.
Our QRe8.com platform is built on open standards. As we’ve mentioned in earlier posts, we’ve begun to brand our 2D codes, which we call XM codes (experiential marketing codes) because we believe that regardless of where the standard lands, the objective will always be to provide the user with a fantastic experience. At the moment, it’s clear that QR Codes and Datamatrix codes lead the way in terms of open standards… on the other hand, it’s also apparent that Microsoft and Scanlife lead the way in closed standards.
Here are 7 reasons why we believe open code platforms are better than closed platforms:
1. Consumer Choice
In order to successfully scan a Microsoft tag you MUST use the Microsoft Tag Reader. This holds true with other closed platforms—you must use their reader to scan their code.
Naturally we see this as an added barrier to entry. Today’s me-focused consumer is conditioned to choice, and demands it… so dictating that he or she must use one specific reader is problematic. Conversely, there are plenty of great readers out there for open codes, which means the freedom to choose. Further, the Tag reader might work best on an iPhone but what about someone that owns an older Nokia flip phone? What will their scanning experience be like using Microsoft?
Simply, an open system allows for you to market and reach the greatest
amount of people that will scan your code.
2. Embedded Readers
Phone manufacturers have already started to embed readers into their phones. This trend will obviously continue as the carriers increasingly see the value in offering their consumers a more seamless 2D code experience. Therefore, you can bet that certain phones will choose not to embed the Microsoft reader. Imagine iPhone embedding their biggest competitor’s software into their phones?! The same holds for Android based phones—supported by Google of course.
As we point out above—we currently offer our clients the ability to create and track QR Codes, and with our next release in about a month we’ll additionally offer datamatrix codes to our clients. If in 6 or 12 months a new open code platform emerges, we’ll assess its possible benefits, then simply adapt and incorporate this new code platform into our mix if it offers our clients value—and the most current technology. Closed platforms are just that…closed! If something new and great emerges in the next year, you’ll remain locked in to the closed system.
In terms of physical size, how big can you make your closed platform codes? How small can you make the footprint? Can your tag be put on the label of a shirt and still work? Can it be put on a billboard in Times Square? We’re not absolutely sure about the answer to these questions, but we do know that open codes can be scaled up or down and still work great.
Can you brand your closed code? Can you embed your logo into it and still have it work across devices and across readers? Again, we are not sure, but we know that we can accomplish this with our open codes.
Hypothetically speaking (but we suspect not far from reality), what happens to your marketing efforts, and most importantly your marketing dollars, if the Microsoft Reader (or any other closed platform reader) develops a bug of some kind? What happens if you have just spent $100,000 on a print ad campaign that’s in the market and contains a closed system code that relies on one and only one reader to work? Open system codes are scannable on open readers. If you’re having problems with your reader at any given moment, simply download another reader for free to continue your experience. Most people I know that are into scanning have multiple readers installed on their phones.
7. Fish where the fish are
We’ve likely all heard this before. If I’m a marketer who wants to take a chance on an emerging technology I need to prove results. Results are based simply on total number of code scans which will then lead to a sale or conversion of some kind down the road. So, how do I increase the chances of my campaign to achieve results? I would want to try to reach as many people as possible whether my campaign was broad or targeted. Is this possible by targeting users of one reader and one code type, as opposed to users of all readers and all code types? The answer is as rhetorical as my question.