Tag Archives: Augmented Reality

Print or digital? Do we really need to choose?

The future of interactive print

In my penultimate blog for 2015 I take a look at how interactive print can take us from the physical into the online world and make content we read more fun and entertaining. Print or digital? Do we really need to choose?

In this post, the transformation of print in a multi-channel world, I showcased innovations that are now available and essentially transform print into a work of digital art.

I hope I highlighted that print isn’t dead.

Like many of you, I live in the digital and physical world of online and print consuming content determined by where I am, what I’m doing and how much time I have.

Print has been doggedly fighting new digital technology and innovations, from email marketing campaigns to online banking there can be no disputing the fact that print dominance has gradually been eroded by new forms of media.

Why have the paper version when the mobile option makes it truly portable and flexible?

multichannelIn spite of this there is a growing reluctance to admit that email marketing and online marketing never really reached its full potential, with many of us reaching saturation point with overflowing inboxes full of junk e-marketing.

Increased awareness of the environmental impact of technology, print is seeing a resurgence particularly in direct mail and a real desire for the printed word.

Why is print often perceived as the naughty boy?

I hear comments like oh, print is finished or we’ve cut right back on all our print and so forth.

Why not look at print differently?

By utilising the benefits of new technology and delivering all the advantages of traditional print but incorporating the latest digital innovations that take print from paper into the digital world.

You can read more about that here.

Only 10 to 15 years ago print was seen as the traditional safe means Stacked Mail of delivering communications.

But with consumer habits changing almost daily, using a wide range of devices to access information from apps, to social media to contactless and apple pay purchasing, how information is digested has become fragmented.

With an audience that switches anywhere between smartphone, tablet to PC to view and purchase this makes it difficult for the marketing manager to create campaigns that engage with their customers.

Technology has helped marketers and brands to understand better their audiences and target them with personalised information suitable for them.

We have become so reliant on mobile technology and there is a generation of young people who have little interaction with print and I think it is really important that we don’t lose print altogether.

The challenge for the print industry is to be able to reinvent itself through new innovations like augmented reality/layar technology and capitalise on these developments by making print truly interactive so in effect the printed word speaks to you.

In the past five years there have been significant developments in digital technology working with print.

AR (augmented reality) transforms  print into interactive content with videos and more digital content.

Layar was one of the early mobile augmented reality browsers to come to market in 2009 providing augmented reality and interactive print bridging the gap between print and the digital world.

By scanning items with the Layar logo, items such as magazines, newspapers, movie posters and more, print is brought to life enriched with videos, web content, links to social media, websites and purchasing.

Layar is now part of the Blippar group and according to their website have had more than 46 million downloads by consumers who are keen to digest more content both from print and digital.

Video on demand gives marketing and brands the opportunity to deliver highly personalised advertising and content.

Think BMW or Mercedes Benz highly targeted and personalised print and digitalprint advertising with a AR allowing the user to scan and view how the car performs.

After you’ve visited the showroom, expressed an interest in a particular make and model, marketing then send you a highly interactive personalised piece of direct mail allowing you to scan and view the content.

Imagine how engaging that is for the recipient if combined with a limited discount offer or free servicing.

A badly designed print item will deliver a poor result much the same with interactive print, simply adding interactive content to a poorly designed print item won’t yield good results.

But create a great bit of print and then add an engaging interactive video or content will deliver great results.

print and digital

The challenge for the print and marketing industry is not solely the creation of content to drive revenue but encouraging the adoption of interactive content as another touch point for the audience.

Educating marketers to use interactive print and digital that will link all their marketing channels and engage with an otherwise fragmented audience is the challenge to making print interactive and engaging in the long term.

 

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.