Market Leaders in the Making
Founded in January 2000, Oakland, CA-based findtheDOT is making a new twist on digital convergence. Based on the belief that marrying print with the Internet has little to do with Web pages, this refreshing new technology is, instead, based on e-mail. According to findtheDOT's CEO, Kim Rubin, e-mail is the most popular Internet application used today. It is simple to print, save, search and forward, which turns out to be four key behaviors findtheDOT hopes to address with its Power Dots.
Power Dots can be printed in catalogs, newspapers, magazines, business cards, phone books and product labels—virtually anything that's printed.
Upon tapping a printed "Power Dot," the reader transmits a signal back to the user's workstation, where it's sent on to findtheDOT, and within seconds, the user will receive a personalized e-mail in return. The content of the e-mail is scripted by the sender, which could be an advertiser, the manufacturer of a product or a retailer. The e-mail could contain information about a special offer; it could offer a coupon along with directions to the nearest store location that has the item in stock; it could contain important information about inventory and availability. The possibilities are limitless. Most importantly, the e-mail will be designed to provide the user with immediate information to facilitate buying.
"We don't think that e-mail is limiting, [compared to directing users to Web sites]," Rubin reports. "E-mail is a personal conversation with someone about specific information they requested. Web sites are about providing general information to a broad audience. . . E-mails also forward well. There's typically no reply or forward click on a Web page. Well, there are sometimes links like 'e-mail to a friend,' but they don't mean the same as having an e-mail forwarded specifically to you from a friend."