Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"QR Coded" Scanning for Market Share

At Suter Printing we have placed "Quick Response" (QR) Codes on virtually every flat surface—from ads in magazines to billboards on public transit platforms. The concept is simple: Consumers scan the codes with their smart device (phones, tablets or Google Glasses - we'll cover these soon!), and the codes will initiate any number of actions, including launching a mobile application, taking users to a Web site, linking to videos, or generating a sales call.

Using your smart device
scan this code for BIG SAVING$$
The seemingly ever-present black-and-white squares are both quick and easy to setup, so much so that our clients are placing them anywhere they can. The prevailing thought is that the technology is cheap enough, so why not?

And with the increasing abundance of smart devices, adoption of this mobile-enabled marketing tactic should follow.

A Forrester (global research and advisory firm – www.forrester.com) report points out that 5 percent of American consumers scanned a QR code during a three-month period in mid-2012 (and growing fast). Leading these consumers are early adopters—mostly younger, more affluent males—numbering about 14 million. And among them, nearly 20 percent (or 2.8 million) made a purchase after scanning one of these codes, according to research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey. With the numbers rising, and predicted to continue to do so into the near future now is the time to make the investment.

The number of 2D bar code scans also saw an increase, with bar code management vendor Scanbuy today processing 40 scans per minute in the U.S., three times more than a year ago.

AT&T estimates that 10.4 million scans were made via its Code Management Platform between January 1 and October 31, 2012, and that 44 million people currently have a scanner app on their phones.

Continued client education is essential to leveraging this marketing tool, Forrester's research points to four obstacles to broader adoption:

  • Many consumers do not know what QR codes are or how to use them;
  • QR codes require users to download an application to their phones;
  • There are no standards for codes and readers; and content is often disappointing with most codes only leading consumers to company Web sites.

These hurdles will dissipate as consumer awareness grows and more smart devices come equipped with the necessary applications built in, our projection is that as the Web becomes increasingly mobile, mobile bar codes will bridge the physical and digital worlds, opening new channels for content delivery.

Want to be the “Office Hero”, imagine how this tool could increase your ROI for the upcoming Direct Mail campaign!

Dial someone who knows how it’s done; our staff at Suter Printing enjoys sharing the knowledge 

Next up "The DigiMarc Difference" How Digital Watermarks have created more usable interfaces with no visible appearance.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Direct Mail "Common Sense" Tips

Consider Your Audience
Before you sharpen those pencils or fire up the Adobe suite, think about who will ultimately be reading your piece and how it will affect your design. What is important to this demographic? Is it security, speed, savings, or something else? Ultimately, all buying decisions are either the result of a fear of loss or a hope of gain. Identify that hope or fear for your product/service and start building from there.

Make it Personal
With variable data printing technologies rapidly advancing, the cost to customize your printed pieces is decreasing and the set-up is becoming easier. Think about what you know about your target recipient. What was their last purchase? When is their birthday? Married? Children? Income? All of these scenarios can be built into variable graphics, text, or even contact methods depending on the data you have.

Work the Envelope
We see some wonderfully designed pieces that are then folded and placed in bland envelopes. If your goal is to be overlooked...then ignore your envelope. For the rest of us, consider unique papers or continue your design onto the envelope. Suter Printng can print, fold, and glue any style of envelope you can imagine. Don't forget about it...it's the first thing your customer will see.

Help Them Reach You
Make sure you are including multiple contact methods. QR codes offer great options for mobile devices, but make sure you include contact options for the less tech savvy. If using pURL's or online contact forms make sure they are compatible with multiple internet browsers and handheld devices.

Be the BIG (or small) Guy
Imagine what your finished piece is going to look like stacked in a home or office mailbox.  Consider using an oversized postcard that could almost wrap around everything else delivered that day. With some of the new programs from the USPS you can mail a postcard up to 12" by 15". If going with a smaller printed piece, consider the thickness of the stock you are using and if it will hold up against the rest of the competition for mailbox space.

Think Touchy Feely
Even if your design is destined for the garbage can...your customer will at least have to touch it. Incorporating a unique print or paper effect can attract just enough attention to earn that second glance. With our UV capabilities we can added numerous textures to accentuate your finished piece. Also consider some tree-free printing options. These new substrates look like paper, but are waterproof, tear proof, and have a noticeable difference in texture.

BOLD images + BOLD headlines
Imagine your piece as though it were a billboard. At 70 miles per hour it can be difficult to read more than five or six words. Keep your message simple so that it can engage your audience quickly. Keep it simple.

Be Different ... Get Noticed
The average person receives more than forty-one pounds of mail per year. Your direct mail piece is battling for attention. A majority of people open their mail over the trash can.  It can seem difficult to come out ahead when it seems as though you only have ink and paper at your disposal.

Ask your Suter Printing representative for ideas and don't be afraid to experiment. However, try not to change too many variables at a time so that you can measure how your changes affect your ROI.