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Print Marketing in a Digital World: Square Peg, Round Hole?

Don’t be hasty, a place for everything and everything in its place. You just have to step out of your comfort zone and find it. Printing press In a world surrounded by digital advertising, social media and technology that changes every day (sometimes multiple times a day) it’s easy to forget the importance of print marketing. What marketers often lose site of is that print marketing is not an alternative to digital, but a strategic partner that, when used in conjunction with a digital component, builds the strongest foundations of any campaign in today’s marketplace. Cross media promotion is a way for marketers to both improve their marketing ROI while also gaining more visibility. Integrating technologies like variable data, QR codes and augmented reality into your print mediums can help extend services, promote resources, and widen access to your brand in exciting and innovative ways all while providing a cost-effective alternative to a full print campaign and corresponding collateral material. Gone are the days where small companies would send large catalogs – it’s 2012 people, throw that idea out the window! Now, they can send a simple mailer with a QR code sending customers to an online catalog. Using simple and free technology, QR codes can be created easily and embedded almost anywhere. These barcode-like icons are processed by cameras on a user’s cell phone to direct the user to online websites, videos, or they can simply provide more information. QR codes can be printed on just about anything: postcards, posters, window clings and even printed on clothing! QR codes are just the beginning as far as the print and digital technology partnership is concerned. Augmented reality takes existing visual or video information and adds additional layers of computer-generated graphics, pattern recognition, and other visual effects. Augmented reality is when a computer processes information that it has been presented with via a “visual marker” (i.e., QR code, barcode, or other printed graphical image) and subsequently superimposes a computer-generated image based on where that marker is located! “Tags” can be added to anything from park maps, product packaging and event posters to enhance the experience. I think it would be awesome to visit the zoo and scan my phone over the park map while watching a lion virtually jump off the page and chase a gazelle. Difficult to imagine if you’ve never seen it live, right? Our very own Craig Smith wrote about “AR” in a blog post earlier this year. Take a look for additional information and some pretty amazing examples. I realize that it all sounds incredibly complicated, but the results are awesome and incredibly significant for the success of your future print initiatives! The fact that such things are possible helps to answer the question “how do I make my print marketing ‘fit in’ with my digital marketing?” Besides, isn’t that the reason you call us? Image Credit: mberasategi
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