Purchase technology will assist print

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Carol Krol, editor in chief, Direct Marketing News
Carol Krol, editor in chief, Direct Marketing News

Last month in this column, I asked, “Where are your customers?” The answer is they can be found in many places. The trick is aligning your message and capturing their attention wherever they are. So many are online, but an integrated approach through digital and traditional means is still my best recommendation.

Many marketers have suggested print specifically is dead or dying, but I don't buy it. Print media maintains its place in the mix, and with the advent of quick response codes (QR), it has only gotten more interesting. I'm not sure those funny looking QR codes are the final answer, but I do think that technology will continue to revitalize print.

Marketing technology company SpyderLynk has had traction with two-dimensional SnapTag barcodes. SnapTags are similar to QR codes, except they feature a brand's logo.

SnapTags got on my radar when entrepreneur Jeffrey Hayzlett published his second marketing book, “Running the Gauntlet,” in January. Hayzlett features SnapTags throughout the book that link to video discussing each chapter's topic.

SpyderLynk has since inked a partnership with a mobile payments provider that kicks the technology into high gear. Glamour is using SnapTags this month to sell to customers directly from print. SpyderLynk launched its purchasing technology last month to enable consumers to buy products using mobile devices. Twenty-one advertisers in Glamour's March issue feature “buy-it-now” SnapTags; readers can also “like” advertisers and share purchase information on Facebook through a social shopping feature. That ability to purchase from the page through a mobile device is the game changer. Direct marketers of all stripes — including catalogers — can benefit. There are other competitors in the space, including Microsoft Tag and JagTag, and that means the technology only gets better over time.

To date, marketing wisdom has been to make sure that if a customer scans your QR or 2-D code, the content you deliver must be useful and compelling. Now gratification can be instantaneous and material. I can point my iPhone at that lime-green pashmina jumping off the page saying, “Buy me.” And I can say, “I just did.” All I need now is a copy of Glamour.

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