The Marriage of Analog and Digital - You're Invited!

I love technology almost as much as I love books and paper. And, since I’m especially happy when I discover areas where the two intersect and succeed, I’m excited to share a celebration of the marriage of Analog and Digital with you. I love projects and communications efforts where that union of craft and technology delivers a big dose of satisfaction—and ROI—and works with the long historical past of paper while embracing the unknown future of technology.

Let me remind you of some successful marriages as the debate over print versus digital works its way to becoming moot. Many of you may know that I often talk about how print and digital can deliver amazing results when they join forces with Augmented Reality and QR Codes. A smartphone can deliver a secondary interactive message initially delivered via print. Depending on the source of that first print message--newspaper, direct mail, magazine ad or billboard—the secondary interactive experience can drive your audience exactly where you want them to be. New mobile apps overlay digital content onto a printed page, and users trigger “airtags” that display an additional level of information via printed materials. Nothing special is needed, not printing technology or special paper. Sappi’s research team turned up this gem: “According to the latest research of how offline advertising inspires mobile search, Google and Ipsos find that 48% of smartphone readers are performing mobile queries off of ads they see in magazines. In this regard, print holds up well with other media, since only 35% of smartphone users search off of poster and billboards, while 57% do so from in-store promotions and 58% from TV. Magazines in particular are key drivers of the mobile ecosystem.”* Another successful marriage combines writing and drawing with digital files and does so using a personal favorite product --the Livescribe Notebook by Moleskine. This new notebook draws on the classic Moleskine design and has been developed for use with Livescribe smartpens and the Livescribe+ app which connects technology to paper in a way that is smooth and easy to use. The new notebook uses Bluetooth technology embedded in the Livescribe 3 Smartpen and ‘dot paper’ which allows content captured on the notebook pages to instantly appear in digital form. To perform its many operations, the Livescribe smartpen requires Livescribe™ dot paper. This paper is standard paper with printed microdots on its surface. These dots are nearly invisible to the human eye. However, the smartpen can easily see these dots and uses them to know which page you are writing on and the exact location on that page. The smartpen can even see these dots through the ink you write on your pages. All of the technologies in these marriages bridge two formats to make them work better together. You can capture thoughts and ideas while they happen, record and digitize drawings and scribbles or jot down the small nugget of information that will inspire your next big idea. Or you can deliver information about what appears in the printed image, drive folks to take action or delight your target audience with a deeper brand relationship. And in each case it’s a perfect marriage of analog and digital. Here’s to the happy couple! Does that make sense? *Google/Ipsos Survey, quoted in minonline "Magazines Are Driving Mobile Search Activity," May 23, 2012 Print &, Page 16–17, Push-Pull Marketing

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