It is astonishing how many paper catalogs my husband and I toss into the recycling pile every week, even though we are good doobies and call to be removed from lists at least two or three times per year.
Naturally, I was intrigued by a pitch I received from Gigmark, a company that has turned the mild-mannered flash drive into a solution for catalog replacement.
This isn't just an alternate publishing method for static content, according to co-founders Parker Frost and Rob Balchunas. Gigmark's technology, called Interactive Flash Drive, offers a way for organizations to keep that content updated, pushing new information to the drive whenever it is appropriate.
"The drive becomes a full circle marketing piece that creates a VIP audience," Balchunas said.
How is the technology being used?
The Gigmark executives cited several examples including a band that uses a drive to send new songs and music only to members of their fan club and a lighting company in Texas that saved $1 million in printing costs and more than 50 tons of paper by switching to the Interactive Flash Drive. The latter solution also gave that company a tool for arming salespeople with easy-to-carry content that they could use in the field with clients and client prospects. The drive doesn't require the Internet to work, but it does require a connection in order to receive updated content.
Energy infrastructure company AD Technologies took a similar approach, creating a special branded cover for its drive that looks like one of their products (photo below). A drive used by the U.S. Marines that includes recruitment materials aimed at high schools looks like dog tags.
Gigmark's solution includes the drive, an interactive player for navigating content, and a content management system for keeping things organized. Clients can update the content themselves, with training from Gigmark. The technology also offers analytics that provides marketers with feedback on what content is being read and how often.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com