All posts by Caroline

transpromo

The changing face of transpromo

I’ve been in the transactional print and mailing industry for (shoosh) 25 years and there have been many changes in that time. transpromo

When I first started, all transactional programming was done using cobol, (a computer programming language) large mainframes existed in datacentres and data was sent either via mag tapes, dial up and eventually ISDN.

Customer data was sent as raw data files or print files which meant that the code had to be stripped out. Using composition software, the form was designed, the variable data was coded onto the form before anything that remotely resembled a bill or payslip could be printed.

It was cutting edge stuff at the time.

Jump forward 20+ years and data can be sent in pretty much any format you can think of and document composition is done using sophisticated composition platforms which merges data and design layout whilst adding variable personalised data in one pass.

iStock_000014348375SmallTraditional transactional print was produced by litho printing the base stock – invoice, statement, payslips and then the variable/personalised information was laser printed in black. It was more cost effective for the large corporate generators of bills and statements predominantly mobile, utility and service providers.

Fast forward to the late 1990’s and the industry saw the rapid digital colour printdevelopment of colour laser digital printing technology this revolutionised transactional documents. Adding colour to the document by highlighting specific lines of text, colour reports highlighting an amount owed in red on an overdue reminder added value to the form.

Initially the use of colour laser personalisation was slow to be taken up by customers because of the cost per unit but as demand for colour increased so did the cost of colour laser printing reduce.

“Transpromo” as it became known had two main advantages – adding variable highlight colour to your documents meant you could dispense with the need for pre-printed stationery and produce your document in one pass. No capital tied up in stock.

The other advantage was the option to print highly personalised, bespoke documents in small volumes from 1 to many and within each pack you could have as many variable letters with different designs and logos as you wanted such was the versatility of digital colour laser printing.

Timeline concept: pixeled word Past Now Future on digital screenThe transactional document is perceived as an added cost factor to the business – every organisation needs to process and send invoices, statements, reminders whether it is in paper or electronic format and that represents a cost to the business.

Transpromo has evolved to being an opportunity to add value to client relationships and increase revenue through selective targeting of products and services and can be just as effective as direct mail.

Transpromo can be used as a communication opportunity to develop and add value that is not solely the domain of marketing.

Letters, bills and statements are integral to the customer experience, transpromo is still undervalued when it comes to targeting customers with specific messages.

Often the consideration to go paperless seems easier than the continued use of paper but organisations don’t do this objectively and ask WHY are we doing this and, WHO will benefit – the customer or us?

Transpromo integrates with online platforms – print, mobile and online content linked together – multi-channel online statement and billing delivery enables you to deliver your client documents differently but with a marketing edge.

Transpromo is part of a multichannel approach for customer communication in our multimedia and cross media driven world it is also a missed opportunity for getting closer to the customer.

A business man throws office paper work pages into air and on floor.

Keep Me Posted – why multichannel works best

Making print and electronic work together offers a powerful way to deliver communications in the digital and physical world. multichannel

I’ve always believed that the customer should have the choice in whether they receive a paper or digital copy, of any type of information.

Offering the end user a multichannel service gives your customers the choice between taking up the offer of a digital or paper copy.

Imagine my surprise at a recent networking event when someone asked me if I’d heard of the Keep Me Posted campaign.

‘The what I said?’

multichannelWith twenty five years in the transactional print and mailing business I had to admit embarrassingly that I wasn’t aware of it.

The Keep Me Posted campaign is committed to changing the attitudes of UK businesses and service providers about giving the consumer the choice between choosing a paper or digital bill or statement.

You can read more about it here.

It ties in very nicely with what I regularly write about and that is giving customers the option to choose paper or digital without penalising them.

Multichannel presentation of documents does just that by giving the customer the option to receive either a digital or physical copy.

Here’s a video to show how multichannel works:

What I particularly like about the Keep Me Posted campaign is that multichannelthey are not advocating one media over the other but rather allowing the customer to choose what best suits their needs.

Happy customer = long term happy customer.

Keep Me Posted is a partnership of representatives from charities, interest groups and business who have united to stand up for the consumer’s right to choose how they are contacted by banks, financial institutions, utility companies, media companies and service providers.

Fewer and fewer businesses are providing no choice how the customer receives their bills and statements with many forcing customers to accept an electronic document.

I recently bought a 4G MIFI so I can access the internet anytime anywhere.

My first bill was in paper format and the accompanying letter told how to register online to access my bill.

The process was not an easy one and as I am very familiar with the providers website it is not easy to navigate even for someone like me who spends eight +  hours in front of a PC.

Imagine an elderly person or someone not too familiar with online registration, navigating the same site because they too have a monthly contract and need to download their monthly bill?

The statistics make for interesting reading:-

16 million consumers aged over fifteen don’t have basic online skills [Source: Go On UK]

40% of UK adults say that the removal of paper statements could seriously affect their finances [Source: Opinium]

5.2 million households in the UK do not have internet access [Source: Office for National Statistics]

You might think how can you possibly forget to pay a visa card bill?

If there is no choice how you receive your statement or bill, viewing an electronic statement irrespective of the email reminder you receive, it is easy to overlook paying that bill.

We are inundated with emails and receiving a paper statement is a sure fire way of reminding us to take action with that bit of paper.

My guess is even if you do receive the electronic version you end up printing off the document as a reminder to action it.

81% of UK adults want to choose how they receive their information.[Source: Opinium]

4 out of 5 people are more likely to read statements available both online and by post.

81% of UK adults do not like it when companies take away their right to choose how they are communicated with. [Source: Office for National Statistics]

Only last week we learned that the paper driving license that we are so familiar with is to be withdrawn and the information will be stored electronically. The DVLA claim that not only will it reduce the red tape it will be cheaper for motorists.

Given that the DVLA reissued 445,000 lost paper licences in 2014 at a charge of £20.00, that’s almost a £1,000,000, I would of thought that there is a very good incentive to keep paper licences.

I await with bated breath when my road tax is due for renewal.

I am unconvinced, there are some things that should just be ‘paper’.

Online information is better, yes I said it.

BUT, there is a caveat, paper based communications are better understood and we the consumer are more likely to recall what is on that piece of paper than what we read online.

The organisations Digital Print Management work with tend to have a better understanding of the importance of giving their customers choice because we educate the benefits of paper and digital.

It shouldn’t be about PAPER VS DIGITAL it should be PAPER AND/OR DIGITAL, a subtle difference but one that will ensure your customers are kept happy receiving information from you in a format that they’ve agreed to and not one that has been forced upon them.

[Statistics courtesy of Keep Me Posted]

What do you think?

managed-print-services

Why you need a print management strategy

Having recently attended a great seminar on the future of print print word in letterpress typemanagement and mobile printing I wanted to share some of the insights I learn’t.

Many strive toward the paperless office, and for some it is a utopian ideal.

But documents still drive many of our document processes.

According to the Garner Group office printing represents 1-3% of a company’s annual revenue, which means that a $10 million company will spend between $100,000 to $300,000 on document printing.

If you don’t know:-

What is print costing you?

Who are the biggest users of print?

Then you need to have a print management strategy.

Although figures suggest that office printing volumes are declining it doesn’t take into account the increasing trend in BYOD.

cloud printingWith increasing demands for mobile print solutions and employees working where they want, why should that not include printing what they want?

Office culture is one of the primary reasons companies don’t change their print and paper practices.

The exponential growth in mobile devices and their prevalence in multichannel servicesmeetings could make you believe that the use of paper is almost archaic and yet office practices result in many of us printing off that report or information for a meeting ‘just in case’ technology or the lack of internet connection fails us.

paper stackNot surprisingly many companies don’t know what they spend on print, hardware/software and support. Given that documents drive paper processes it makes sense to know what your annual print spend is.

Not knowing how many printers are in use across the office building, how they are being used and their associated running costs makes understanding the print spend almost impossible but it also means that the organisation may not be delivering what departments really need in the way of document output.

Organisations, Universities, Councils all like print solutions because it enables them to show how much they have saved on print and paper usage.

What is produced is done so wisely and not at the expense of the taxpayer.

Outsourcing print to cut costs whether in the form of print management or managed print services ensures transparency of print costs, an increase in management control over printing, a complete audit review of what is being printed when and on what device.

A managed print strategy means:-

1. You don’t need to buy new equipment

2. You need to understand what you have and how it is used – what volumes are printed and by whom?

3. Only then consider outsourcing the management of your devices using a print management or MPS (managed print service)

4. With your office devices being managed by a print management provider quarterly reviews of print volumes will ensure that recommendations will be put in place to optimise your printing.

Your company has a business plan right?

It also has a marketing plan that determines when and what you are going to ‘sell’ to your target audience?

You probably have an HR strategy if you are more than 5 people so why would you not have a print management strategy?

Even if it forms part of the marketing budget, you need to understand the cost of print and what that means to your bottom line.

If you don’t know what you are spending on print then how can you manage what and where you print effectively?

 

 

print management

5 benefits of print management companies

Continuing my theme on outsourcing I thought I’d delve into why organisations can really come out on top when they choose to work with a print management company. print management

What is print management?

And, what can a print management company do for you?

In essence they manage the purchasing of any print, mail and marketing item you generate.

Print management companies can help you save time and money on all print related activities.

Outsourcing your print and mailing such as invoicing, statements, cheques or corporate stationery items will ensure continuity of brand management, cost reduction and give you unlimited access to expertise.

What are the 5 benefits of working with a print management company?

It’s not expensive

Print management does cost money because there will be set up costs at the outset of the contract or project but what you need to remember is that a print management company will be managing many procurement activities for different organisations and companies this gives them leverage because they are purchasing on volume which in turn is passed down to you the customer in cost savings.

These savings would not be be achieved if the buying is done by many different departments and is managed locally rather than centrally.

Outsourcing will increase efficiencies and eliminate random iStock_000013524456Smallpurchasing.

Guaranteed cost savings

Organisations with in-house sourcing will never achieve the level of savings a print manager can offer, the function is not core to their business and there is likely to be a lack of print knowledge making sourcing the right product at the best price difficult.

Investment in print management software

Print management companies take advantage of the latest print management software solutions.

Print procurement technology enhances the business process by streamlining quoting, improving the print job process and using digital asset management as a central repository for marketing assets and documents.

Organisations do not have the budget nor the infrastructure to implement a print management procurement program but print management companies specifically aim to improve and invest in the technology to ensure customers can place orders online and all print jobs are managed accurately and delivered on time.

Accountability

Outsourcing to a print manager ensures that they are accountable print managementby being able to show cost savings through metrics and reports that include KPI’s and SLA’s  to demonstrate effectiveness.

Innovation

All organisations want to make sure that their printed communications and marketing collateral is at the forefront of their competition. print management

Print management companies provide innovation and creativity because of their expertise in design and print and because of their knowledge of the market place.

They keep up to date with advancements in the print industry and pass these developments on to you the customer.

Above all else, a print management company is impartial they are not tied to anyone manufacturer or supplier.

They will have cultivated an extensive network of supplier relationships developed over many years, based on trust, excellence and expertise, which cannot be achieved in-house.

The next time you are reviewing your print strategy and want to know how your company can make savings think print management! 

outsourcing

Dispelling the myths of outsourcing

Digital Print Management has been a long term advocate of outsourcing.outsourcing

But, surprisingly very few companies experience the real benefits of outsourcing because of failure in communication.

All too often relationships along with the contracts fail to meet the expectations of the customer.

Digital Print Management have often succeeded in winning contract work because of failure by the last incumbent.

Great for us but not a good advertisement for the industry in general.

What do I mean?

The three main reasons outsourcing fails are:-

  1. The company wanting to outsource has no process for specifying the work to be done.
  2. Poor project management from the provider and the company outsourcing
  3. No metrics or KPI’s for measuring success

outsource Unless you can specify and understand what you want as the party wanting to outsource how can you possibly expect the supplier to deliver your expectations?

You don’t need a detailed document that reads like War and Peace to make outsourcing successful but you do need to know what you expect to receive from the outsourcing process.

The worse scenario is the company decides to outsource a process and hires consultants to do the work for them assuming they know better than the organisation what is required and wasting money in the process.

Tell us what you need.

outsourceWe can do anything, just tell us what you need.

I’ve sat in many meetings talking with clients understanding what they are looking and hoping for when they are considering outsourcing.

Start with a blank sheet of paper, if you could have anything you wanted what would it be?

Eh voila, there it is, all the information you need to put together a specification.

The responsibility is on the shoulders of the company looking to outsource the business process.

But, the most important and missing piece is how do YOU want your customers to feel when they experience the process you’ve outsourced.

In other words it is your customer or the end user who will have the real benefit, experience or engagement with the business process you’ve outsourced not solely the organisation.

Outsourcing fails because the agreement is not properly structured, doesn’t take advantage of the outsource providers best practices, creativity and innovation.

It does not define the scope and service levels that meet your needs and there is no communication.

When it is well planned, outsourcing relationships provide and deliver substantial benefits to an organisation and not solely cost savings.

Businesswoman using digital tablet with copyspace

Why smartphones lead the way for a multi channel service

In my last post I emphasised the importance of giving your customers the choice between choosing paper and viewing documents online or what I call a multi channel service.multichannel services

More than 42 years have passed since the first mobile phone call was made by a motorola employee, Martin Cooper in the USA.

Since then, the sale of smartphones has reached dizzying heights and has become the staple business tool for many of us.

Connecting and transacting business on a daily basis is now commonplace from emails, shopping, banking online; it would be hard to imagine a life without a smartphone.

72% of us own a smartphone.

Generation Y those aged between 25-30 are the most likely to own a mobile phone (89%) and Generation Z, 16-24 year olds follow closely with smartphone ownership at 85%.

This group are most happy to use apps for shopping online. 54% of 54-65 year olds own a smartphone.

Mobile websites and having the ability to interact and communicate important information to your customers via mobile is increasingly important.

Offering a multichannel service to deliver and communicate with your customers is key to customer retention.

Mobile technology is rapidly becoming the most popular channel for people to be able to access information and being able to adapt your delivery processes to ensure that customers have access to the information online, on mobile and in paper format is crucial to ensuring customer longevity.

By providing a seamless experience to the customer irrespective of the channel they choose – telephone, online, mobile phone, they are made to feel like they are dealing with one company.

How they receive and interact with the information is important for long term customer relationships.

Multichannel servicesIt is no longer about sending paper communications, customers need to have the choice how they interact with the information they receive from you and as the above statistics show mobile adaptation for businesses must be considered part of the marketing process.

Businesses need to embrace mobile technology and adapt their services to fit with the needs of their customers.

Presenting documents online can be costly and time consuming firstly there is the need for:-

  • a website
  • emails
  • developing an app(s)
  • web portal

They also need to be mobile responsive which means that the document needs to emulate the layout and content of the paper document and respond to the size of screen it is viewed on.

Multichannel communication is about presenting documents online so that customers can view information anytime and anywhere.

Part of the multichannel service experience is about driving up customer engagement and organisations need to understand how customers use mobile technology in their personal lives – for shopping, banking and connecting on social media driven to use their smartphones more readily to access their documents when they are on the move.

Viewing customer information is not solely for the smartphone, it needs to be viewable on PC’s, laptops, tablets and in paper format.

A multichannel service allows your customers to choose how they prefer to view the information you send them without forcing them to take up an option they are not happy with.

For more information about multichannel distribution of electronic documents and online viewing. Please feel free to call us here.

Multichannel services

Multichannel services. What is it and how can it add value?

Multichannel marketing is the ability to interact with potential customers on a number of different types of platforms. Multichannel services

Multichannel marketing is giving the customer the choice to make a purchase from whatever mechanism is available whether it is a print ad, retail location, website, PURL and so on.

Multichannel services work on a very similar principle allowing customers to simultaneously access their invoices, statements, payslips and any other customer communication document anytime, anywhere from multiple devices. Multichannel services

As consumers are using more mobile devices it is important to be able to deliver both a paper and digital version of a document.

According to Google we have become a world of multi-screeners with 90 per cent of consumers media interactions done on a computer, smartphone, tablet or TV.

The device used to make purchases is driven by the context in which we find ourselves – where we are, what we are doing and how much time we have.

If data can be supplied for printing purposes the very same data can be used to provide electronic or digital equivalent of the exact same document.

Enabling customers or employees to view those documents at a time that best suits them.

Whilst it is tempting to cut off all remaining relationships with print and dispense with paper communications altogether, print still has it’s place in our digital world.Multichannel services

Here’s why

The explosion of technology and digital devices has enabled customers to view anything online.

But when it comes to certain financial documents not everyone feels comfortable with online accessibility.

Driving pure online statements or electronic documents is a surefire way to disengage customers particularly if they only want to and have been use to receiving paper statements. Multichannel services

Whilst the transition to an online system can make business processes more streamlined by cutting costs and making accessibility easier, it may not be in the best interests of the customer particularly if they lack the necessary online skills.

From an organisation point of view any consideration for moving toward an online and paperless environment  without engaging and educating the customer the reasons why your organisation wishes to adopt paperless could end up costing more in time and money responding to queries by phone and letter. Multichannel services

Enforcing customers to move to online viewing of documents and expecting them to behave in a specific way is not conducive to positive long term customer relationships.

That is where multichannel services come into its own – by being able to deliver a printed version and online statement, payslip or any document type this encourages the customer to get use to online viewing and accessing an online web portal so that when the time is right for them they can switch off paper bills if they want to.

It’s about choice

Consumers don’t want to be pushed into making a choice they aren’t ready for.

Giving the customer choice ensures a successful relationship.

Take away choice and the customers is dissatisfied and are likely to voice their opinion on social media.

People take time to embrace change in spite of the technology revolution and although smartphone users are transacting more online, the need for paper documents still affords the comfort factor engaging customers and allowing the customer to check details.

According to the ONS (Office of National Statistics) four out of five people are more likely to read statements that are available both online and in a paper format.

Multichannel services deliver choice your customer can choose to receive a paper and digital version, when the time is right for them they can then choose when to switch to paperless billing.

What do you think?

Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success a

What is print management NOW

The inspiration for this post came largely from a prospective  When?customer who wanted to understand how Digital Print Management deliver the services they offer and what is print management all about.

Ha, that’s a blog post just waiting to be written I thought.

Print management has evolved over the years from print farmers, print brokers to print consultants and latterly multi-channel service providers of which Digital Print Management is one.

Although the final output is paper – printed payslip, invoice, cheque, remittance, statement.

Mobile devicesThere is also the requirement for the multi-channel distribution of documents this includes a print version and an electronic version of the same document.

Whilst the print management umbrella incorporates a little of what we do it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Print is part of the whole, but, the key element is how your documents are then distributed.

A traditional print management company provides total management of a company’s print inventory – from business print, marketing print, direct mail, financial print, to promotional gifts and clothing.

If it needs printing, more often than not it needs to be managed properly.

Stacked MailHistorically this is where print management companies come into their own by being able to provide expert advice and consultancy on a whole genre of print projects.

Good print management companies will provide clients with the expertise to take a print project from an idea and make it reality.

With access to an array of suppliers, customers can be sure they are getting the best products at the best price.

But we manage this in house – I hear you say

All companies at sometime or other will spend money on ‘print’. I use the term loosely to cover all aspects of ‘print’.

Maybe this is consigned to one person but with increasingly limited resources and budget cuts print buying is commonly split between a number of departments, with more than one person or department buying their print.

Print management companies have skilled and highly trained people who were born into the world of print.

They’ve learn’t their craft through being able to sell a variety of different products and services either as a manufacturer or as a print broker.

Print management companies aren’t tied to one specific supplier or manufacture which is great news for the customer, because you are partnering with a print company that is impartial and unbiased.

Print management companies deliver as part of their service offering print consultancy – understanding how, what and why you print in-house, production and project management so your project is delivered on time.

iStock_000018976177XSmallThe overriding factor for partnering with a print management company is their access to a supplier network that they’ve developed and nurtured determined by:-

  • what the customer wants
  • what market forces are driving in the way of new products and services. This then determines the suppliers print management companies elect to work with and effectively up sell their unique products/services.

Great importance is placed on nurturing and developing long term supplier relationships, the print management company ultimately providing the sales element of the partnership acting as the reseller, and the supplier delivering/manufacturing the product/service.

Their sole aim is to ensure customer satisfaction which in turn means a returning customer.

The most experienced print management companies come from print backgrounds either having worked for a manufacturer or gained experience as a print broker.

Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success aMarket forces coupled with knowledgable and innovative suppliers, have enabled print management companies to diversify and specialise in specific areas of business print and fulfilment like payroll and multi-channel services.

Being able to carve out a niche often sets them above the parapet.

Not every organisation has the desire to source a company to print/distribute their annual P60s or weekly/monthly payslips.

And that is where we come in.

Print management companies care about print and work closely with their suppliers to achieve a common goal – customer satisfaction and the assurances that the organisation is being looked after by the print management company.

As well as identifying savings in print and distribution costs, the end user is gaining expert advice and knowledge from a trusted print management company.

And that is where print management really is NOW.

In my next blog: Multi-channel services. What is it and how can it add value to my business?

 

 

 

 

How does print management fit into our digital world?

I’m a big advocate of print as part of your marketing strategy, I CMYK printing conceptbelieve it’s a great way to engage with your customers in the first instance and a great place to start their buying journey.

When it comes to marketing material, print arouses the senses notably sight and touch unlike its digital counterpart, print gives customers something physical to hold, to browse through and is easier to refer back to when needed.

The print industry embraced the digital world back in the early 90’s.

Think digital printing – short run in any number of variations and types, highly personalised and customised.

print word in letterpress typePrint was the leader in optimising personalisation and customisation in the online world.

Where do you think the big brands got their ideas to drive customer engagement with personalized messages and customised landing pages?

Print of course!

Does print management still fit into our social media and digital world?

I believe it does.

In the past, companies had no idea what their print spend was, senior executives had no idea about the number of print devices in use, the cost of paper and supplies, let alone the cost of the overall print bill, excluding corporate stationery and items.

Times have changed and although social media marketing has in some respects taken the lead, print is now one very important part of the content marketing process.

Print marketing has benefited from changes in our industry making it more cost effective for organisations to send out highly personalised marketing information and then following this up with social media campaigns so the customer can follow the brand, company or purchase.

Some may think that print management is finished and that print based marketing is no longer needed in an ever changing social and digital world.

But they are wrong. Think business cards, leaflets, brochures, packaging, posters and invitations.

With the rise of cross media marketing which includes but is not limited to variable data print, personalised URLs (PURL), podcasts/webinars, email and social media, physical print marketing plays an active role.

For example variable data print which includes direct mail, posters, brochures and giveaways – anything that can be printed with the customer’s name, company or a content specific message.

In my last post I talked about how to add value to your print through the use of AR and QR codes.

Similarly adding a PURL enables you to capture a prospect at the point of interest.

When?Optimising a personalised web address means that you now have a way of measuring their interest and the technology to evaluate where they are in the buying journey using analytics which can report the landing pages they have arrived at.

Cross media communications are designed to move the prospect across the different media using “calls to action” with each touch point teasing the buyer to take further action and move onto the next platform.

Where does print management fit in?

Simple. Print management companies are experts in the total management of a company’s print marketing requirements – marketing print, financial print and more.

Print management means accessibility to the latest innovations not just in print but in design, new technologies like AR that can all add value to your marketing initiatives.

Being able to work with an outsourcing partner that can manage and integrate the various channels of communication makes it a very effective way of maximising business efficiencies and savings.

Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success aThe marketing officer gains expertise, consultation, access to a variety of multi-channel distribution networks, brand consistency and major cost benefits

 

 

 

multichannel

How to use print interactively. Augmented Reality and QR codes

At a recent customer meeting I was held to task by a statement print word in letterpress typemade by one of the marketing officers, ‘print is not as effective as digital’.

I considered my response carefully and suggested that this is a generalisation, misused to criticise print and keep marketing and advertising budgets lower, as if using print would escalate costs. But, I went onto suggest that whilst the statement is true it is also untrue. iStock_000023887471Small

Digital lends itself to short, trivial messages which can be effective and cheaper than print because distribution and receipt of the message is instant.

For more complex information or understanding of a product or service than print affords high resolution, better typography, colour, composition, special effects and beautiful fulfillment which cannot be delivered by digital media, yet.

The effectiveness of print largely depends on the message you want to convey to your audience, what kind of response you want to get and what your ultimate objective is.

The marketing officer went on to say even if you design and deliver a fantastic piece of physical marketing it really is just a bit of paper isn’t it?

And then I showed him how to incorporate QR codes and Augmented reality into his physical print media and guess what he had an epiphany.

‘I didn’t realise that print could do all that’. Scanning QR code with mobile phone

How do I use a QR code with my marketing collateral?

QR codes create a link between print and the digital world making your marketing work twice as hard because it is measurable.

QR codes make it simpler for your customers to purchase by shortening their purchasing journey. At the same time you can collect information about their buying behaviour for future offers and discounts.

QR codes can be printed on all printed material from advertisements, direct mail, letterheads, business cards, magazines, brochures, sales and marketing material.

Each code contains information that sends the customer straight to a specific PURL/landing page that’s been designed with a marketing objective in mind, a digital newsletter, video or social media site like a facebook page.

Using a smartphone with a QR code scanner the customer scans the code and is taken to a specific site that might be an invitation to buy or sign up for a newsletter or subscription.

Once the QR code is scanned, information can be saved about where the customer is located, at what time of day purchases are made and how the customer responds to your marketing.

QR codes improve your customer interaction by creating opportunities to generate dialogue with customers and statistics can be measured for future marketing objectives.

QR codes can also be personalised using information supplied via a CRM and then printed directly onto any printed marketing material.

QR codes are used to connect print with digital communication but they can contain any kind of information you want which makes them limitless in how you choose to use them.

For example you can link an advert or an invoice to a special offer on your website or re-direct them to a specific landing page.

The QR code can be added to any type of printed collateral and the customer can claim a discount right away.

A QR code is also a great way of rewarding loyal customers by connecting with them on social media and having a specific landing page that enables them to collect points or gain discounts.

How can I use Augmented Reality with my print marketing?

Augmented reality is adding a new dimension to the world of physical print because it is turning printed media into multimedia.

Why send readers to a website to watch a video when then can watch it on a page?

Marketing is about engaging with your audience by making content interesting, interactive and informative.

AR is an effective way of engaging your audience by placing advertisements so that your target audience is moved to want to make a purchase. iStock_000025176791Small

By viewing printed materials through an augmented reality app’s viewfinder a world of interactive digital content is available.

The advertisement or message comes alive with computer generated video, sound or games accessed through a smartphone or tablet.

AR can be used to show how a product works or allow readers access to other content. It is another way of making print or text interactive making the consumer experience fun and hopefully leads then down the path to purchasing.

AR is interactive and has the potential to increase audience engagement by reaching your target audiences in new ways using mobile devices.

What makes AR even more appealing is its ability to deliver targeted advertising messages to the people who request them because they are reading an article or feature they are genuinely interested in.

By scanning a code or pointing their device at an image on a sign, a printed page in a magazine or brochure or on a billboard, content becomes dynamic and engaging increasing the likelihood of the consumer to move along the purchasing journey.