Mobile Marketing CostcoAds with scannable watermarks have been added to the pages which link to smartphone friendly content.

Costco has decided to add mobile marketing to its printed monthly magazine by adding a watermark on the pages that can be scanned with a smartphone in order to access content that they feel consumers will find relevant, interesting, and helpful.

Though the content in the magazine, itself, hasn’t changed, it will allow the company to provide more information.

The mobile marketing watermarks can be scanned by readers who are interested in the subject to which the marks are connected, in order to access smartphone and tablet friendly content on that topic or product. This marks an important technological advancement for the Costco Connection magazine.

This mobile marketing technique is one that is rapidly growing throughout the print industry.

This particular mobile marketing program is implemented through the Digimarc Discover Intuitive Computer Platform from Digimarc Corp. It allows transparent digital watermarks to be embedded into print advertising and editorial content. The April issue is the first to include this feature.

The watermark being used for this mobile marketing can be used in a way that is very similar to the highly popular QR code. The consumer downloads a free scanner app onto his or her smartphone or tablet. The camera of the device is then aimed at the watermark, and the application automatically detects the image and directs the user to the appropriate page on the device’s browser. This instantly connects the consumer with the web-based content that is relevant to the topic on the scanned page.

According to Costco’s own figures, there are 8.6 million readers of its magazine. The Digimarc Discover app will allow those readers to use their smartphones to access over 50 unique watermarks per issue, including in the April edition. They link readers to videos, product information, store data, and even have mobile commerce features that allow readers to make a purchase over their smartphone or tablet.

The assistant vice president of publishing and the magazine’s editor, David Fuller, made a statement about the mobile marketing strategy, saying that “Many of our members are already browsing The Costco Connection with their mobile phones and tablets sitting nearby.”