business messaging blog
NFC and mobile marketing
Scott Navratil

It’s likely you’ve never even heard of NFC technology before. That’s because even some of the latest smartphones don’t have it. While it’s still relatively uncommon, more and more mobile devices are being released with it. As the technology grows more popular, many companies are questioning whether or not they should look into incorporating it with their marketing efforts.

What is NFC?

NFC, or near field communication, technology allows mobile devices to be used a form of payment by simply placing it against an NFC terminal. Essentially, the phone itself takes the place of a credit or debit card. Another application for the technology is advertising. A company can create NFC enabled advertisements. It would work much like QR codes. Anyone who has a mobile device that is equipped with NFC technology can place their phone near the advertisement to be directed to relevant content about the company being advertised.

Who’s using NFC

Many major companies such as Guiness and Dominos are finding creative ways to boost sales by using NFC technology. Guiness outfitted 11,000 beer tap handles with NFC terminals. Patrons at bars could hold their phones up near the terminals to enter for a chance to win a free pint. The marketing tactic creates customer engagement with the brand and allows Guiness to send content to customers via their smartphones.

Dominos has also successfully used NFC technology by using it to boost sales during the summer when business is normally at its slowest. Because their mobile app allows customers to order pizza on the go, it was important for them to get people to download their app. They decided to place some NFC terminals on their outdoor advertisements. People who saw the advertisements and were interested simply had to hold their phone up to it and the app would be downloaded to their device.

Should brands use NFC?

It’s expected that by 2014 there will be over half a billion mobile devices equipped with NFC technology. However, the technology is still relatively under used. Companies that are adopting NFC are the frontrunners. It’s still unclear whether the technology will gain traction in the mobile marketing industry. As with all things related to business, the decision to adopt NFC is a risk. On the plus side, it could give your company an edge over competitors. However, if the trend turns out to be a fad, you could be out some money.

Chantel Fullilove

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