Real Integrated marketing with QR Codes

Integrated marketing is what most forward thinking companies strive to achieve with marketing efforts. However a large gap exists between print and web making integration difficult. The use of QR codes in print advertising and marketing can help bridge this gap.

A few years ago while working for a marketing agency the big buzz word was “integrated marketing”. Essentially this was creating marketing flow between your online and offline marketing. Back then this included things like creating targeted URLs to direct people who receive your print piece, creating cohesion between your web site and your print campaigns, and directing people to online signup forms through traditional media. A gap exists between the printed page and a website. This gap is big enough that many modern marketers have written off print advertising completely. People are just reluctant to get a direct mail piece, go to their computer, and type in a web address.

Real quick, look in your pocket or on your desk. Chances are you have a cell phone within reach. In addition chances are it is a smartphone (iPhone, Blackberry, Pre…). The answer to bridging this gap lies right there, it is your constant connection to the world, but you are still not going to type in a web address.

QR codes are a way to help bridge the gap. Web browsing on cell phones is not at a very usable level. Using QR codes in your marketing allows potential customers to easily pick up their cell phone, scan in the QR code, and instantly be directed to the landing page for your ad. The New York Times recently did an article highlighting this very technique with advertising, looking at how various companies are starting a push toward advertising with QR and other 2d bar codes.

As technology and consumer awareness increases so will the integration of print and online marketing. Integrating technologies like QR codes into advertising takes very little effort, and no additional cost. This also adds a second layer of analytical data to marketing efforts, allowing you to better gauge ROI for a print piece. Take a look how Rob McBryde used this integration to move potential customers from his printed business card to his web site.

-Greg Henderson

Welcome to 2010, the Rebirth of Print

Welcome to 2010, I think this is going to be a very good year compared to the one we just made it through. Few have had a worse year however than the print industry. Which is why I am a little surprised to be here writing this for CustomXM. See I grew up in the digital age, marketing directors like myself have basically killed print. In developing my skill I embraced the computer monitor, and swore off paper. I met Paul Strack from CustomXM and found some of the neat things he was doing merging technology with printing. I quickly realized that I was wrong to abandon print all together. Print is not dead, print is in the process of being reborn. The print we knew 10 years ago is dead, in it’s place however is something much better. 

This blog will serve as a mix of things to help you understand this new reborn print industry. I will focus on some tips that I’ve been able to pick up, ways to enhance marketing through print, some case studies that Paul will share to show how other companies have utilized print, and some behind the scenes views of the print shop. With this my hope is that through a better understanding and some strong examples you will be able to enhance your marketing.

A first of the year post would not be complete without a list of New Years resolutions, so here are mine for marketing:

1 – Step outside of the box and do something completely radical to market my company.

2 – Give back as much marketing insight (both success and failures) as possible.

3 – Enhance the tie between my print marketing and online marketing.

4 – Find some way to incorporate dimensional printing.

5 – Find a better way to utilize social media as a communications tool.

So those are the areas I plan on focusing in this year. Why not drop a comment and share some of yours, I’ll even give the best few a very awesome 2010 CustomXM calendar featuring local photographers like myself.

-Greg Henderson