LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21:  The 'QR Code Garden...
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 21: The ‘QR Code Garden’ at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show on May 21, 2012 in London, England. The prestigious gardening show opens to the general public on May 22, 2012 and features 14 show gardens which range from ‘New English’ design to modern topiary gardens. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

I have been pounding the drum for the direct marketing of published materials, particularly books, for some time, but a recent news item suggests to me that this train is finally leaving the station. Here is a story about Simon & Schuster, one of the so-called Big Six trade publishers, which is now putting QR codes on every print book they publish. With a QR code, you can use a mobile device and be swept effortlessly to a Web resource, located in the Land of Oz or wherever the “cloud” actually resides during the hot summer months.

Now, why would S&S be doing this? While some people are likely to suspect that S&S is trying to get people to buy books directly from them, bypassing the bookshops where the printed book was found by the customer, it’s probably more likely that S&S is now building an end-user database. Shades of direct-marketing infrastructure! A customer database is the first of the many necessary steps for a direct-marketing program.

I will have occasion to write more about direct marketing in the months (years?) ahead. It’s the coming and necessary trend.

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Joseph Esposito

Joseph Esposito

Joe Esposito is a management consultant for the publishing and digital services industries. Joe focuses on organizational strategy and new business development. He is active in both the for-profit and not-for-profit areas.


1 Thought on "Developing the Infrastructure for Direct Marketing"

How new is this, Joe? University presses, and probably most other publishers, have been building their own customer databases for years from the results of direct-mail sales responses. These internally built mailing lists of repeat customers usually were more productive of sales than lists that one could rent from outside vendors.

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