Near Field Communication, the technology that has been slowly making its way into our smart phones, opens new mobile marketing opportunities for the local businesses (as well as the big brands).
Among the multitude of other uses such as contactless payments, Near Field Communication allows businesses to pass short pieces of information to the customer’s phone via a smart tag attached to a piece of promotional material, a physical product or a designated spot at their business premises.
The smart tag works in a similar way to a QR code, except it is less cumbersome. Rather than having to scan the QR code with your phone using a special app, a customer simply swipes his phone over the tag to read the code or website address programmed into the tag.
The video below demonstrates how it works.
The main benefit of NFC technology is that it simplifies certain actions. For example you can use NFC to recharge your mobile phone at the bus stop, then use same mobile phone to get the estimated time of next bus arrival on your phone. With NFC you can order a coffee at a café by holding phone over menu item, typing size / quantity then pay for same coffee using mobile wallet.
People don’t leave home without their keys, their wallet and now just as commonly their mobiles.
Visa and Mastercard are currently developing Mobile Wallet Applications and several banks are exploring contactless banking.
Stores and packaging are currently using QR codes but NFC offers more opportunities for expansion of this technology, particularly among smart phone users who would not be considered first adopters. Using programmed stickers you can not only direct the in store consumer to view your site, they can enter a competition, upload information of their own, participate in a survey, sign up for a free trial, initiate AR or redeem a voucher.
Near Field Communication technology allows travel companies to create a paperless system so that people can check in, without having to print out documents.
When purchasing a high end consumer goods like a car, the customer is often given additional items like brochures, servicing books, key rings, caps and other merchandise that reinforces the brand and ensures the customer feels valued and special.
Incorporating an NFC sticker into the servicing manual or a keyring could further enhance the relationship with the customer by encouraging an extra level of communication, a feedback loop or access to an app that helps retain their loyalty.
TapVision, a company working on some apps for the visually-impaired, feels that the NFC technology will help visually impaired people retain independence both in their home and work environments. For instance be able to identify clothes in their wardrobe or match them to create a fashionable outfit.
Paramount Pictures is one of the first advertisers in Ireland to use near field communication (NFC) technology on Adshel bus shelters. With the new film promotion, passers by can tap their phone against the NFC readers at selected Adshel bus shelters to get the trailer of the film downloaded directly to their phone and watch it while they are waiting for the bus.
Clear Channel also introduced permanent NFC tags at a number of bus shelters across Ireland. The NFC element is currently running across 50 Adshel bus shelters in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford with high footfall locations.
For any phones that are not NFC compatible, a QR code reader also delivers the same content.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless, so you should really should start thinking about how could you use this technology to promote your business.