The Magic is “IN” the PRINT (pssst, what’s that mean?)

By | May 2, 2016

Magician and Money

Observation – when the Harvard Business Review and Advertising Weekly are both talking about the potential of Augmented Reality to drive sales for marketers, we printing passion-istas may want to pay attention.

From Ana Javornik, writing in HBR on 18 April 2016:

“Basically, if the AR experience is just a one-off episode, which was true of the lab study, the augmentation will most likely direct people’s attention towards the technology.  But if it is well integrated in an environment or in a process, it has the capacity to positively impact purchase activities and have a more far-reaching influence.”

As a card carrying member of The Print Protagonists, I have been known to rail against the use of Image Recognition #IR augmentation platforms as they tend to create exactly the issue that Ana objects to – they take people away from the printed material, instead of being integrated IN the selling environment – moreover, as visual search becomes more prevalent, images themselves become the trigger to the immersive experience, not printed material which becomes redundant and un-necessary.

Realism compels us to admit that in some use cases, the technology is cool enough that it still drives sales for the marketer.

Elaine Naum in 1,000 Reasons to Embrace Augmented Reality:

“In select Thomas Cook store locations, would-be travelers can test drive their tour before they buy. Special headsets take them on breathtaking excursions like a helicopter ride above the Manhattan skyline. The added tech increased Thomas Cook’s excursions revenue 190%.”

IN the considered opinion of The Print Protagonists, anything that takes the consumer away from printed material seems sort of at cross-purposes to what printing companies profess to desire – increased sales and continued relevance as a media channel by adding value to print, or, in our view IN the print.

Print does not want to be a one-off, right?

We want repeat sales, from repeat customers who are excited to be making more money from the magic IN our printed products, right?

But we are realists, we know that many brand marketers have used and will use IR platforms such as Blippar and honestly, we admit that anything which triggers the use of print, even on a potentially evanescent basis, is not all bad.

From this 21 April 2016 article in Advertising Weekly:

“Eventually the whole store will become a digital touch-point, and Max Factor will be able to create an end-to-end experience across the shopper journey from print to shop windows, in-store wobblers and beyond.”

The Print Protagonists have a simple mission-message, we want to “Keep Print in the Picture.”

We think IR will eventually abandon print as the essential Launchpad to immersive multi-media engagement, and even if it does not abandon print entirely we think the objection noted by Ana Javornik in the Harvard Business Review is most perceptive – we think IR directs attention towards the IR technology, not towards driving more sales from the customers of your printing customers.

What is the better way?  We call it #InterActivePrint

If this post intrigues you – and you’d like to learn more about how YOU can offer your customers Magic IN the print, please feel welcomed to contact me.

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