The QR code is an interesting advent. While seemingly, it’s just a two-dimensional barcode, with that extra dimension comes the ability to house more – and different types of – information.
In its infancy, the need for different readers, scanners and requisite apps led to slow adoption. Early adopters of this new tech had some hits – and misses — that led to poor applications.
We saw unscannable QR codes on skyscraper billboards, scannable ones that went nowhere, and general confusion over how to create and use them to generate revenue. Adoption waned and the QR code was all but abandoned as a mainstream marketing tool.
Today, QR codes are an everyday (some would say necessary) part of our day-to-day life.
Once the OEMs began embedding QR code readers into mobile devices and smartphones, the need for dedicated apps became obsolete. By simply pointing your phone camera at it, you could scan, click and voilà – you are transported to your online destination.
Such universalization opened the door for companies like Snapchat, which introduced QR codes as a way to add friends on the app in 2015, and later made filters and lenses unlockable – via QR code.
With the explosion of social media, use of, and exposure to, QR codes spread quickly.
When COVID hit – along with touchless restaurant menus, check-in links, information about protocols, etc. – they became a lifeline.
Adapting to Digital: Turning Print into a High-Value Touchpoint
The recent widespread adoption of the QR code paints an important picture for the print industry. It spotlights the benefit (and power) that printers wield when they embrace and adapt digital solutions that feature print as a high-value touchpoint throughout the prospect to customer journey.
By making it easier for people to engage with print via a simple, interactive element, QR codes bridge the physical with the digital, teleporting them to their destination in an easy and fun way.
Print is transformed from a commodity to a high-value communications tool capable of linking to videos, landing pages, special offers, podcasts etc. And where there is greater value, there is greater willingness to pay more.
Digital and Publishers: Selling High-Value Print as Part of a Package
It’s no secret that printed media is in decline. In the last five years, the U.S. consumer magazine industry declined by over 20%. People, and content, are moving online – and that’s scary for the print industry. Digging in their heals in resistance, many have come to see digital marketing as the enemy – and have been slow to embrace multi-channel strategies. They’re playing monopoly and rolling dangerous doubles.
Joomag is a digital publishing platform that turns digital media into interactive PDFs with videos, polls, surveys, feedback forms and other interactive and engaging elements, all wrapped into a digital magazine. What’s more, is that they also have extremely in-depth analytics to measure performance, from demographics to activity per page and beyond.
Printers are at the top of the food chain when it comes to sensory marketing – the perfect complement to digital content platforms like Joomag.
Digital newsletters and communications can get a high-profile makeover when regular, monthly issues are supplemented with quarterly, semi or even annual special editions that keep the reader engaged, the brand top of mind, and the experience memorable. Detailed analytics that measure engagement and activity ensure the right content is delivered to the right people, while targeted ads based on digital behavior makes advertisers and sponsors happy – and inspires more brands to embrace print.
We Aren’t Done.
The QR code was a technology ahead of its time – its full potential hadn’t been harnessed until recently. But if you’re still shaking your head saying, “No, I’ve already made it this far without having to adapt to digital,” then stop playing games and go directly to jail, do not pass go and DO NOT collect the massive profits you’re missing out on.
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