The Promotional Value of Bar Codes in Print Advertising

QR Codes: Are You Ready For Paper-Based Hyperlinks? (Search Engine Land)

Many marketers believe print-based media has lost its effectiveness as an outlet for product promotion.  By print-based media, we are referring to promotional outlets found primarily in newspapers, magazines and direct mail.  The general thought behind this is that digital media, such as websites, social networks and smartphones, is replacing print-based media as an information and entertainment source in the eyes of a growing number of consumers.  Marketers believe this shift in consumer habits will inevitably lead to digital media being a more attractive option for promotional spending compared to print.

While the struggles of print-based media is widely reported, in reality these outlets are a long way from being dead and still remain a viable promotional vehicle for many marketers.  To gain back some ground lost to digital media, print outlets are exploring new methods for attracting the digital crowd.  As this story discusses, one method being explored by print-based media is the incorporation of two-dimensional bar code technology within printed material.  This technology, dubbed quick response codes, connects print with digital communication.

As this story points out, there are a growing number of uses for these bar codes that should be of interest to marketers.  Not only can customers scan these codes and be directed to specific websites, the codes can also send information to a customer?s smartphone in the form of contact information, promotional materials and other messages.  Additionally, adding these codes to printed material appears relatively inexpensive.

QR technology provides cell phone users the ability to scan paper-based content using the cell phone?s camera to decode information on a menu, a magazine, a business card, a gift card, a coupon or a website. Once the QR code has been scanned and decoded, the user has access via their cell phone to the information or destinations.

What other promotional methods are print-based media using to attract more advertisers?