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Media Marriage Now Legal! (or Print Meets Digital)

July 11, 2012

Recently I have been reading a lot of posts all over the internet about how Direct Mail and traditional print are dead due to the use of digital media. Those who disagree say print is still very much alive and the most important part of an integrated marketing campaign with each channel complementary to another.  I thought QR codes were a cool way to integrate digital media into print.  I’ve created my own and printed it on my business card.  Here it is – try it out if you have a smart phone and have downloaded a QR code scanner app.  You can hold it right up to your computer screen and it should work:

QR code, Sheila Gregory

But if you want to stay on the leading edge in truly integrated marketing then I’d say forget QR codes. Most of them just take you to a company’s website which is pretty boring unless you are ready to purchase something or donate to a charity.

Here’s an even better way to marry digital media to your direct mail campaigns.  Now you can incorporate Augmented Reality (referred to as AR) into your Direct Mail piece.  The user must have a smart phone and download an app that scans a printed page (a bit like scanning a QR code). However, the result is different. You can see how it works by checking out the video below by Layar.

There are other companies offering similar services but I found the Layar app for my iPhone first and downloaded it right away.  I then ran off to Chapters as fast as I could to find a magazine that had the Layar capability built into one of its pages so I could scan it.  I checked a bunch of the magazines on this rack:

computer magazines, magazine rack, Chapters, Wired, apps

There were loads of QR codes on practically every other page.  But I could not find one page with the Layar logo!

Layar logo

And most of these magazines list and rate hundreds of great apps. I was so disappointed!  After a little more research on Layar’s website, it seems that it might be more popular in Europe. But I bet that soon you will see AR logos plastered on every piece of print material you see in North America.  This technology is at the leading edge of social, digital and mobile direct marketing and I am sure the early adopters will pick it up and use it soon. We used to mail CDs – these days that would make us look like dinosaurs! I wonder which of us Direct Mailers will be the first to get on the integrated bandwagon with AR!  Have you already used this technology? If yes,  please tell us about the results and any hiccups you may have encountered. And would someone please tell me where I can find a printed piece with the Layar logo printed on it?  I want to go &  find it so I can scan it!

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