Mobile Technology : Integrating Mobile into Print


In September 2011, we launched an extensive study to understand the dynamics of this trend across consumer, marketer and print service provider audiences. The result is “Mobile Technology: Making Print Interactive,” an extensive study that sheds light on how these various mobile technologies can be effectively integrated with print and other media types to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds.

More than 1,100 consumers were surveyed as part of this study to understand their level of awareness, perceptions and, ultimately, what drives them to interact with different types of “mobile response mechanisms.” Among consumers, awareness of mobile barcodes (also referred to as mobile response codes, action codes, or simply mobile codes) is particularly high: 84.6 percent of respondents reported familiarity with the technology.

Mobile messaging also has high awareness among consumers, with close to 70 percent indicating familiarity. For the unfamiliar, mobile messaging is based on SMS (text) or MMS (multimedia) messaging technology where an opt-in relationship is activated by a consumer, often through the use of Common Short Codes (for instance, “Text SAVE to 55555 to opt in”).

Furthermore, marketers are increasingly active in utilizing the mobile channel to reach their target audiences in new and different ways, especially when integrating mobile with print. Our study revealed a 194 percent year-over-year growth of marketers using mobile barcodes from 2010 to 2011. These codes are being integrated with brochures, direct mail, magazines, catalogs and many other print applications. While adoption is lower for mobile messaging and Augmented Reality, these technologies are also being integrated with traditional media to prompt interactivity and engagement.

Marketers and advertisers have certainly done a good job at raising the awareness level of these technologies among consumers, but our study also finds that interaction with mobile barcodes and other mobile response technologies is markedly lower. Only about 24.2 percent of consumers familiar with mobile codes had ever interacted with one, signaling that there are clear barriers to interaction that exist with these technologies.

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