Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Using New Media to Communicate

Scan Me!
The term old media and its companion legacy media refer to traditional ways of communicating with customers. Printers are generally considered to be a part of old media, along with other paper-based industries like newspapers, magazines, and books as well as radio, television and movies. In contrast, new media is digital and includes the Internet, websites, and most computer- based forms of communication.

New media is exciting because it brings new tools to the process of communicating with customers, tools like full-color digital printing, with highly personalized sales messages and interactive outreach. New media also empowers prospects and customers to quickly and easily find reliable information about products, services and vendors.

At Creative Characters, we present many ways to help you take advantage of new media to communicate with your customers and prospects. We recommend that you add these to your sales and marketing activities rather than replacing what you are already doing.

Have you heard of QR Codes?

One of the more exciting examples of new technology is the QR code. QR stands for Quick Response, aptly named because the contents of the code can be decoded at high speed by mobile devices including mobile phones equipped with a camera (smartphones), net books and laptop computers, desktop computers, cameras and televisions.

QR codes are the new way for customers and prospects to interact with you and your business. Among other things, they can reach a web page, a location (using geocodes) or obtain information about products and services. Add a QR code containing contact information to your business card and someone can add you to their contact list by reading the QR code with their cell phone or computer. Add a QR code to individual products on your web site and enable customers or prospects to download product details and a phone number for ordering, or link to a YouTube video.

QR codes can hold up to 7,089 characters. This ability to hold a great deal of information in a small space is what makes QR codes so valuable for sales and marketing. QR codes have been popular in Europe and Japan for years but are now gaining a tremendous amount of steam in the U.S. You could still be the first in your market niche to use them if you act quickly!

Google has already started using QR codes in their "Google Places" division and because of that the QR code is likely to become very important in search marketing. Google suggests that if your web site contains a QR code, search engines will see a new image and index it, and might in the future index the content in them.

Many mobile phones, including iPhone, Blackberry, Motorola Droid and any phone that runs on the Android operating system, have application software available for scanning QR codes. Some phones may have the app already installed on the phone; but if not, it can be easily downloaded and installed. It is usually a free app.

QR codes have other uses besides marketing material. An educational organization can direct people to reference or training materials. An online product catalog can use a QR code to provide complete product specifications. Retail locations can use QR codes to provide additional information- such as a restaurant providing nutritional information for items on the menu. Another prominent example is how Home Depot has utilized QR codes on the plastic stakes in plants. Instead of just the name of the plant and light requirements, the shopper can scan a QR code on the stake to get more information about the plant. Upon scanning, the QR code transports the shopper to a special mobile website for the plant containing information like planting tips, appropriate fertilizer, water frequency, pruning tips and more. A QR code on a direct mail piece can take the recipient directly to the web site of the business offering the product or service. QR codes can also dial a telephone number, start a pre-populated email,

Call us today for QR codes and digital printing

We invite you to call us to discuss how QR codes and digital printing can benefit your business or organization. We'll help you generate a QR code that is appropriate for your intended application and add it to business cards and marketing materials- either now, or at the next printing. After all, attracting prospects and beginning a dialogue with them is what building business is all about. Let us help you get more leads – call us today at 215-923-2679 or send me an email to learn more at brigid@creativecharacters.com.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Are You Ready for the Mobile Web?

There are 5.3 billion mobile web users. That’s 77 % of the world population! In the US, 25% of mobile web users are mobile-only.

There are 5,000+ web ready mobile devices on the market today. According to Nielsen, 1 in 2 Americans will have a smartphone by the end of 2011. And, there are 60 Million iPhones and iPads in use today.

Still think you don’t need a mobile site? 

What Will Mobile Do For My Business?
A mobile website will put your business at your clients and prospects fingertips! Engage clients and prospects, drive social media, link to videos, showcase products, provide one-touch calling, email and text, provide maps, capture leads, re-orders, inquires and so much more...

What’s the Difference?  

Just go to my desktop website on your smart phone to see for yourself – www.creativecharacters.com. Now you see the difference, right?

Desktop websites are not built to fit a small-scale display, like a mobile phone screen. As a result, customers waste time having to stretch and resize the screen, scroll all the way left or all the way right just to access your company’s information. A mobile site mirrors the look and feel of your company site, and provides the same, important content. With a mobile site there is no stretching and resizing and no scrolling all over the place because a mobile website is built to fit smaller displays.

In just minutes you can connect your business to the mobile world by creating engaging, interactive mobile specific content. Seamlessly generate, track, and utilize QR codes in your print collateral (business cards, direct mail, property signs, product packaging, etc.) to drive more clients and prospects to your mobile website. A mobile website ensures you look your best on over 5,000 mobile devices.

Go Mobile in Minutes!
Creative Characters provides the simplest way to take your business mobile. Manage your own content (never pay for changes). Add and delete pages as needed. Create and organize QR Codes to link your print collateral to the mobile web engaging your clients and prospects at the exact moment they’re interested.

The time is now, not in 6 months or a year, but right now. Contact Brigid, Marya, Justin or Sean today at 215-923-2679 or info@creativecharacters.com.