Royal Mail Launches Digital Watermark Solution

Royal Mail has launched a solution that enables businesses to make their post interactive, using digital watermarking technology.

The move enables companies to provide a link from their post to online content, such as a website, video or Facebook page, in seconds by scanning the mail with their 3G phone. To do so, they need a Digital Space app, available “shortly” via iTunes and Android market. By holding the 3G phone over the digitally watermarked image, which is indicated by a symbol, users can access the digital content. It works in much the same way as a QR code, without the need for a QR code, which some brands find aesthetically unappealing.

The solution, launched by Royal Mail’s Door to Door unit in partnership with Digital Space, provides a digital watermark that can be embedded into pictures on leaflets and mailings. The watermark enables marketers to integrate their print and online material without the need for barcodes or QR codes. The digital watermark has no impact on the design and layout of a piece of mail. It is embedded into the existing design, with no need for special inks or changes to the printing processes.

“Royal Mail is committed to helping make leaflets and mailings increasingly sophisticated and engaging for the people who receive them,” says Royal Mail’s chief customer officer, Dave Smith. “This landmark partnership means that Royal Mail is the first postal company in the world to offer digital watermarking technology to its customers. This solution combines the strengths of the post and the internet. Digital watermarking technology means that a leaflet or mailing can open the door to a journey in the online world. By using this technology, businesses can ensure their mail campaigns are as effective as possible by linking directly to their websites, videos and even social network pages.”