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Tom Marin

Building Brands

By Tom Marin

About Tom

Tom Marin is the managing partner of MarketCues.com and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.

 

Taking Your Business Online Using QR Codes

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Let’s start with why you might want to do that in the first place. Simply put, tons of people are opting out of print and into online media. Does this spell the end of printing? In my opinion, it does not. But what it does mean, as I see it, is that there are new ways of marketing a brand and companies want to learn more about them.

At the recent graphic arts trade show—Graphics of the Americas held this past month in Orlando, FL—a printer told me he was going to sit the new media tools out until it was obvious who the winners would be. We were in a crowded space with lots of people around, so I did not feel comfortable saying much in response other than, “You may want to rethink that idea.”

The problem with sitting on the sidelines is the parade goes by without you. The reaction wasn’t noteworthy, but what is of note is how fast things have changed in just the past 24 months. The advent of QR codes, for instance, is a great example of one such new marketing phenomenon.

QR Codes: What are they?

QR Codes are those funny looking squares that you see popping up on direct mail pieces, packaging like in the picture above, posters at business conferences and a host of other marketing applications. If you are a printer who has been watching this newer technology progress and hasn’t joined in, you may be missing out on an excellent way to build your company’s overall brand awareness. In Japan and Europe, by the way, QR codes are already quite common.

They are now becoming more popular in the U.S. in various print marketing applications. They’re simple to use with a camera phone that has the ability to scan the QR tags via a downloaded app that is installed on a smart phone. When a snapshot is taken, it triggers a Web page to open in the phone’s browser and display the creator’s contact information, marketing messages, etc.

This personalizes the “Web-to-print campaigns” that marketers are looking to offer customers and can be very beneficial to a printer with lots of customers that are looking for ways to increase their business. Odds are this is a worthwhile door opener for you to pursue and build some new trust and projects with the clients you serve. It also positions your company as a thought leader in an otherwise crowded market.

As the use of QR codes increases—and my guess is, it will—your firm can become known as the one that was out there leading the parade, not sitting on the curb watching it pass by.
 
Tom Wants to Hear Your Branding Issues:
If you are a printing company, or product/services company serving the industry, and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.

Follow MarketCues on Twitter for branding and social media tips, as well as the latest trends. Tom also welcomes emails, new LinkedIn connections, calls to 407.330.7708 or visit www.marketcues.com. How can he help solve your branding issues?
 

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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Ramin Zamani - Posted on April 15, 2011
Well said, Tom. And as always, the early adopters will benefit from the less competitive market conditions. Opportunities are huge and every day a new and creative use case for QR codes is being introduced. In one of our client's case studies of a recent cross-media marketing campaign they had launched for a university student recruitment program, 20% of the students who responded to the direct mail came through the QR codes! The applications are so easy to implement, and the demand is on the rise. There's really no reason for print and marketing service providers not to take advantage of the opportunity.
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Archived Comments:
Ramin Zamani - Posted on April 15, 2011
Well said, Tom. And as always, the early adopters will benefit from the less competitive market conditions. Opportunities are huge and every day a new and creative use case for QR codes is being introduced. In one of our client's case studies of a recent cross-media marketing campaign they had launched for a university student recruitment program, 20% of the students who responded to the direct mail came through the QR codes! The applications are so easy to implement, and the demand is on the rise. There's really no reason for print and marketing service providers not to take advantage of the opportunity.