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TransPromo Special Report — Using QR Codes for Cross-Media Integration

June 2008
Many of today’s marketing professionals are focused on leveraging multichannel communications for an improved customer experience. The objective is to integrate online media with documents to enable a cohesive and unified marketing tool; however, fully executing these multi- channel programs can be difficult. Technologies like text messaging, short message codes and personalized URLs (PURLs) are seen as promising, but lack a quick, precise, elegant encoding system to efficiently transport the recipient from paper to an online experience.

One answer to the full implementation of multichannel programs is QR (Quick Response) codes. This high-density barcode is readable by cell phones and simple PC cams. Recipients can quickly and easily interact with the QR-enabled transactional documents they receive.

They simply point their camera at the QR symbol, and they are instantly connected to a QR-encoded Web page without having to remember any information or type in numbers and promotional codes—they just point and shoot. The Web page could be a sales video, a coupon or a product promotion encoded with the specific recipient’s demographic profile.

Marketers can QR-encode PURLs or other Web links into a small section of the real estate on a TransPromo, direct mail or catalog page to enable direct links to the online world. QR places the power of recipient interactivity on the same real estate previously allocated to simple post-processing and document control barcodes.

The ease of the process, and the fact that the PURL is hidden to the naked eye and doesn’t need to be keyed in, greatly increases response rates. It has the capability to transform documents into true multichannel interactive vehicles for increased customer retention and new business development.

• QR codes can also be encoded with links to instant payment portals that enable faster bill payment.

• QR codes could be embedded in a direct mailer or a catalog with a link for immediate ordering of a specific item.

• As global marketing efforts increase, the ability of QR to support encoding of double byte character sets for support of Kanji and other Asian characters will prove invaluable to marketing professionals.

Although QR is ISO-certified and is the most widely used code in Japan, Korea and throughout Asia, it has not been heavily deployed in North America due to the lagging technology of U.S. cellular network providers. This is now being addressed, with most providers having plans for integrating QR into their networks.
 

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