Imagine, a slide show of your paintings being instantly delivered to a potential collector’s Smartphone. By using a “tag” you can make that vision and more a reality.

“What’s a tag you ask?”

Simply put, it’s a barcode that can be placed on anything you do in print!  Once it is scanned with a smart phone, it instantly delivers a message. You could link people to a slide show of your art, videos, virtual tours, or a lecture excerpt just by using a tag.
A Tag Reader is a free Microsoft application which available for a variety of Smartphones. Using your Smartphone, go to to download the Tag Reader and try it out with your Smartphone on the tags below.
“How does the Tag  Reader work?”
After the ‘reader’ is downloaded, the camera on your phone turns into a scanner. The lens will detect the code which  will trigger the information to be displayed – amazing!

  • With over 2 billion tags already in existence, millions of people have already downloaded the free Microsoft Tag Reader and are using it.
  • With over 49.1 million smart phones in use today in the US more than 50% of US homes own one or more smart phone and are using this technology to browse, shop and gather information. Consumers are realizing that when they hold their smart phone over the tag, the digital information or video content appears in the smart phone window.
  • 50% of US homes own one or more Smartphones.
  • Many museums, galleries, art magazines and tech savvy artists are already using these Tags.
  • No typing a URL or texting, waiting for a response – in an instant your message appears – driving it deeper into the hands of your potential buyer at the moment it makes the most sense.
  • These tags are helping print media stay current! Over 100 million magazines have carried tags since August 2010.

An example of what a ‘Tag Reader’ looks like in a print magazine: (in the lower right-hand corner)

Here are a few examples of tags to try out on your own Smartphone:

Black and White Standard
Most recognizable and commonly used in publications 7/8 “

Color Standard
a Southwestern style with the Smallest footprint 3/4 “

Custom Image Tag
Image is placed behind the code. 1.2”

Mobile is important for a number of reasons:

  • It has an immediacy that consumers expect.
  • It provides a portal from the real world to digital content.

To be successful the mobile activity has to follow some best practices:

  • The activity must be engaging.
  • The content must be relevant.
  • There must be a call to action.

Tags are already being used by museums, galleries and your peers. A couple of best practices include:

  • Providing Fast Access to More Information.
    • A tag can help you provide far more information than could possibly fit on exhibition signage, and it can help you expose digital content in a way that can be consumed by visitors on their mobile phones.
    • More information gives them a stronger connection to you and an incentive to purchase.
  • Keeping people engaged after the main event: You might let people scan a tag as they exit to be added to your mailing list.

Is mobile marketing a trend or just “fly by trendy”?

  • From my research, I think that this is the next “thing”. Think back to when the Internet was introduced and you may have wondered, “do I really need to have a website? Does a digital footprint even matter?”
  • We all know how important that move was to business. Now you have an opportunity to attach your digital presence to your print materials. This is still new enough to garner word of mouth excitement yet it is also established enough for anyone to piggyback off of the successful adoption of the technology.
  • Over 100 million magazines since August 2010 have carried tags in their advertisements and editorials.

As ambassadors of the arts, it is important that we continue to nurture and engage our society in the appreciation of fine art. I am a believer that art tag technology is a tool that will invigorate and sustain the cultural community.


Carolyn “Charlie” Bogusz is the owner of Primary Colors Consulting, providing coaching and marketing services to the arts industry. For additional information on tag marketing and developing your own tag, contact her at


You might want to check out these other useful articles:
5 Small Business Mistakes to Avoid
Social Media’s Top Stars Share Their Top Tips on Twitter
6 Free Ways to Promote Your Art Business Online
Newsletter Art Marketing Tips that Work
Simple SEO Tips to Rank Your Twitter & Facebook Pages Higher on Google

Privacy Preference Center