Basin Printing & Imaging will have several members present for the 6th and final series of Simon Walls marketing workshop series. We will be speaking about now and exciting innovations in print, focusing on emerging technologies and how print is becoming more intelligent and measurable.
Contained in this blog post are the key notes from Basin’s presentation.
Print Innovation & Emerging Technologies
Today we are here to talk about innovative and merging technologies within the print industry. Print has always been a major marketing channel. It’s been around since before radio, television and internet. It’s always been said that the “next big thing” (be whatever it is at the time) is going to “ruin print”. Instead, the “emerging technologies” have adapted to both leverage and enhance print advertising.
Technologies Enable And Enhance Print
When the telephone came around, there was a need for phone books. Suddenly the Yellow Pages was the “must be” place for every consumer related business. The only way to market through this revolutionary new channel was through hard-copy advertisements of some sort.
When the television came into existence, it became the new major channel. Businesses started advertising through commercials, product endorsements and other means. But this channel didn’t damage print. Instead it enabled the industry. TV Guides is the perfect example. These printed pieces became a must-have to know what programming was available and when shows would air.
The internet was supposed to be the technology that was going to deliver the final blow and nail prints coffin. Ironically enough, the internet has been the channel that has most influenced prints new direction. It has added the ability to collect valuable marketing metrics off print collateral, while adding a multimedia element not possible without mobile technology.
Which is what we’re going to focus on today; the internet and the major impact it is having on the printing industry.
Mobile Barcodes: Print Meets Digital
Since the beginning of the internet, print has always been a channel to drive internet traffic. Even the internet providers relied of print to deliver their service. Remember all those annoying AOL CDs you received in the mail?
The internet was delivered through print and mail.
Without the mail? America Off-Line……
Since then, a companies website has always been included in every business card, brochure, postcard and rack card.
Mobile barcodes are the next big trend. And other than providing a valuable transition from hardcopy to digital content, they also provide another key component to marketers; Metrics.
QR Code Analytics: Going Beyond Scans
QR Codes provide two incredibly powerful metrics: Scans and clicks. This shows how many people were compelled enough to scan the barcode, and how compelling the first impression was to inspire click-through.
[Many things can influence this, primarily the “meta-data” within the landing page, which is a whole other topic]
Google Analytics, a 100% free product offered by Google enables users to tag their URLs with tracking parameters. By tagging URLs with tracking codes, it’s possible to segment the “campaign traffic”. By segmenting the traffic by QR campaign, it’s possible to gain all the metrics offered by Google Analytics, including region, number of page views, bounce rate and other KPI.
Being able to incorporate this element into printed material has enabled a level of benchmarking never before possible within the industry. As mobile adaptation grows, concepts such as these will continue to gain traction and marketers will be able to gain much better knowledge of how people are interacting with their printed collateral.
Augmented Reality – The Next Frontier
Augmented reality is the big innovation in print. Augmented reality enables a digital device to recognize an image, and display a 3D image or animation. Nobody does augmented reality better than Lego. Lego has created kiosks in their retail locations. These kiosks are able to recognize Lego’s box artwork and display a 3D rendering of the fully constructed Lego set, complete with moving figures and parts, as shown below:
The one major setback of augmented reality is the requirement of a mobile application to display the 3D rendering. Lego has effectively constructed proprietary kiosks with the applications built-in.
Augmented reality can be displayed on both desktop and mobile devices as well. This is done through either webcam or mobile camera. Because a compatible device and specific application is required to display a rendering, adaptation is incredibly low.
As mobile adaptation and awareness increases, the adaptation of concepts such as augmented reality should increase as well.
Material used in our presentation:
For the presentation, we used the Augment platform as a sample. By downloading their application;
Augment is a platform for generating and presenting augmented reality. For the example, we used one of their generic indicators and nothing propitiatory. Here’s the link to the PDF. I’ve also attached the image below, although it may or may not scan properly. In order to ensure proper display, print and use the linked-to PDF.
3D printing is the latest in printing technologies, and with it the possibilities are limitless. Picture a printer that could “print” a printer capable of “printing” itself. There are 3D printers out there capable of quite literally printing the parts to replicate themselves. Below is a segment of a documentary demonstrating how truly awesome 3D printers can be:
With the emerging concept of 3D-printing, it seems that the role of print might grow beyond the realm of ink on paper and into the manufacturing vertical. When a vehicle needs repair, it might not be Autozone that you go to, but rather your local printer. Give us the file for the broken part, and we’ll have your replacement part printed within 24 hours; Much faster than FedEx could deliver from the factory.
Conclusion: Print Doesn’t Die…It Innovates
Emerging technologies have failed to destroy print. They never will. Instead, said technologies will leverage print for their own agenda. In return, print will merge with those technologies to add more functionality and features to the products that us printers are capable of.