Near Field Communications (NFC) is bridging real world experiences with the virtual world. Imagine walking down the hallway of a transportation company barely noticing the Safe Handling poster that has hung there for years. Only this time, customers take out an NFC enabled smart phone to get a link that directs them to safety procedures or a video on safe handling techniques. The company’s safe handling record tells prospects that their goods are being handled with care.
While stopping for lunch at a truck stop, a salesperson notices a poster from a trucking company that operates in his geographic area. He points his phone and finds a link to the company’s website. Mobile marketing has come of age.
None of these people were in front of a computer, but they were able to interact with a company in a meaningful way. NFC technology allows them to make purchases, access and share content on social media sites and more while in the real world.
NFC is sometimes compared with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or QR codes but its potential is much more robust. Device pairing and sharing of data is a given, but payment, ticketing, access control and various tag applications expand the possibilities for all kinds of content and interactions. B2B promotions can win over customers and enhance loyalty programs. Here is a video from Thinaire that describes how NFC technology can create a rich brand experience.
Summer 2012 Should See Big Increase in NFC Use
The future of mobile marketing seems inevitable with this easy to use technology. Tech companies are preparing now. Google Wallet carries embedded secure elements that can run NFC applications. Microsoft’s Tap and Do will provide NFC on tablets and PCs. It has been reported that Apple won a patent for technology called “iWallet”. Another new patent shows potential NFC integration and an ability to pay with the IPhone and IPad. Here is a list of NCF enabled phones you can buy today, and those coming soon as reported by NCF world.
This is all back page stuff. Marketers may rejoice in presenting the best in print principles augmented with electronic data gathering and measurement. One mobile marketing business model assumes brands will pay every time the tag is tapped allowing them to collect valuable data on prospective customers. Data includes where the interaction occurs. Copywriters and graphic artists will continue to be valued team members. Smart posters can take on iconic status for a brand. Creators of ads that deliver will be rewarded. As with most marketing campaigns, delivery is important but the content must be accurate and relevant to be useful. Smart posters and ads with NFC technology will extend the reach of your content.