The problems caused by print and digital
During the early nineties, the ad industry was dominated completely by print marketing. Designers were making print ads painstakingly by hand, with reprographics, transfer letters, and various other typesetting techniques. Just as the designers perfected these skills, the marketing world went graphic, and adopted Corel, Quark and Adobe, and all previous techniques became obsolete.
Ten years later, when the typical marketer perfected Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, and started making good digital print designs, businesses diverted budgets to mass-market online marketing. Everyone was then forced to learn web designing skills. And recently, more and more companies are choosing to go back to print marketing. New technology is now working parallel to digital mediums, and print can easily be adapted to fit into today’s marketing world.
Time to embrace print again
Marketing experts believe that print marketing is re-emerging as business people realise the potential of direct mail ads and similar print marketing mediums in generating revenue. The online world is swamped by display ads and banner ads, and people are getting tired of online advertising. Print is considered a suitable alternative. The crowded online markets make it challenging for businesses to differentiate themselves. It is easier to create an impact with flyers, posters and other print marketing tools.
If you analyse the marketing scenario, print marketing never really went out of use. Local chains and small businesses have always relied on local print ads and direct mail offers for localised walk-in customers. Larger companies are now returning to print marketing to gain benefit from new digital design technologies. Customers interact with them through smart phones, on the smart phone optimised websites, landing pages and even social media pages directly from print ads. QR code technology provides an effective connection between both of these worlds.
A QR code is a small barcode which can be printed on print products. It provides links to the company’s Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, webpage or any other similar source. It uses smart phone scanning technology for navigating to a particular site.
vCards and meCards
Both of these are personal data interchange interfaces used to exchange user information between devices. This technology is used to create business cards. Social media profiles and contact details are captured through a QR code within the meCard or vCard information.
Use of QR codes for marketing
QR codes can be used for promotion and marketing in numerous ways. These codes can be included in all kinds of print material such as print ads, event displays, business cards, brochures and posters.
QR codes are only the beginning of print-to-digital technology for marketing. The process does sound complicated for someone unfamiliar to it; however, the results are remarkable and very significant for the future of print. The future of marketing definitely lies in the successful integration of print and digital marketing.
Max Chohan is an experienced freelance graphic designer in Dubai working for a leading graphic design company in the Middle East. At Puzzleworks Design, he has has the expertise to offer advice on print media and digital media strategies.