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.