Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Little Black Box

The little black box you’ve been seeing around lately (on the preceding page of this magazine, for example, at the bottom of the masthead) is a QR code. A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a type of “matrix barcode” (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside of the industry due to its fast readability and comparatively large storage capacity. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of any kind of data.

With the advent of smart phones (iPhone, Android, etc,) the QR code has become a way to impart data to a handheld device.

What does this mean to the readers and advertisers of Pacific Maritime Magazine?

Our recent reader survey (thank you for the great response!) found that 27 percent of our readers kept the magazine on the bridge of their vessel, or on their desk (or in the galley or the head) for 14 days, while 55 percent of our readers kept the magazine around for 30 days or more.

When asked if you share the magazine, 68 percent of you told us you share Pacific Maritime Magazine with one to five others in the industry, while almost 10 percent of our readers share the magazine with more than 5 colleagues. While this data is good news for our advertisers, it becomes even better news for both advertiser and reader when the QR code comes into play. For example, on page 41 of this issue is an ad for Q3 Maritime Training Solutions, and their ad contains a QR code which, when scanned with a smartphone, opens the company’s website. This has the benefit of giving our reader more access to an advertiser, and giving the advertiser a way to keep his data current. For example, if an advertiser wants to offer a special rate, or has added a new product or service, the magazine that has been passed to a second, third or fourth reader and might be two or three months old, can still direct clients to the advertiser’s up-to-date information, whether it’s from a desk in Port Hueneme or the bridge of a tanker in Port Said.