Aby Sam Thomas

While it is an abbreviation for Quick Response Code, one has to admit that it is hard to see what exactly is “quick” about the QR code. Sure, there is something to be said about the ease with which one can scan a QR code and be directed to some kind of information about a brand or a business, but at first glance, there is really nothing a customer can instantly glean from what is essentially an enhanced version of a barcode.

Now, take a look at Spyderlynk’s alternative to the QR code: the SnapTag. First of all, it is definitely more aesthetically pleasing than the Rorschach blot-like appearance of the QR code. SnapTags allow brands and businesses to put their definitive stamps on the codes they present to their customers—the SnapTag’s “code ring” is almost like a halo over a company’s specific logo, and brand recognition can be easily achieved through the use of such codes.

But there’s more to SnapTags than just their obvious visual advantages. To use a QR code, a customer needs to have a smartphone with an app to scan the tag, which then transports them to what is almost always a static link. On the other hand, a SnapTag has a wider user base—a customer needs only a phone with a camera to work with a SnapTag, and the responses can be a lot more interactive than those obtained through the use of a QR code.

“You’re not dependent on an app,” explains Jane McPherson, chief marketing officer at Spyderlynk. “A consumer can take a picture of a SnapTag and text [or email] it to us. We read the SnapTag and return the marketing response.” Of course, smartphone users have the option of using SnapTag reader apps as well. These readers can be installed by brands into their own specific apps, and thus, customers can be given a very user-friendly, engaging experience.

This level of engagement is made possible thanks to the variety of responses that can be delivered with the use of a SnapTag. Unlike a QR code that directs users to what is usually just a singular website, a SnapTag response is much more customizable—users can be sent a video, or a link to a Facebook page. According to McPherson, the SnapTag platform allows marketers to customize the responses so that consumers have a more “personalized experience” when interacting with a brand.

Brands can also configure SnapTag responses to be specific to a campaign, but since this is done by changing the positioning of the gaps in the “code ring,” the different SnapTags will look virtually the same to the consumer. The SnapTag platform also allows for marketers to measure analytics for all their various campaigns with SnapTags, and this data allows marketers to better understand their customers and their preferences.

With so many advantages to using the SnapTag, it’s not a surprise to learn that many big brands have already implemented this revolutionary new technology for their businesses. Spyderlynk’s long list of clients includes names like Coke Zero, Dior and Toyota, and if all goes well, they could soon be adding Wonderful Pistachios to their impressive resume, since Spyderlynk is a finalist in the Mobile Commerce Challenge at ad:tech San Francisco’s Startup Spotlight this year.

Catch Spyderlynk as they present SnapTags as a viable means to drive mobile purchases for Wonderful Pistachios at the Startup Spotlight Mobile Commerce Challenge at ad:tech April 10 at 3.30 p.m. Note that the company will be also present for both days of the conference in the Innovation Alley on the expo floor at Booth #2459.

This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest, longest-running digital marketing and technology event. Check out allvoices.com/adtech for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.