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Breaking Technology: Near Field Communication

There are so many new technologies emerging every single day – but few can say they’ve successfully merged the most effective marketing tools of the past century with the widespread obsession with mobile data. What are we talking about here? Well, “Near Filed Communication” (NFC) of course! NFC is an emerging technology where mobile devices can be placed near small NFC tags that can be embedded in all kinds of classic print marketing pieces like posters, brochures, business cards and more. Take a look, and let’s explore a little bit more about how NFC works – and why you’ll want to incorporate it into your next marketing campaign.

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About NFC – how it works

NFC tags are small, no thicker than a standard sticker and about the size of a quarter. These tags are commonly placed or “embedded” within the layers of print marketing products like business cards and post cards, instructing customers to “bump” or place their phones near the tags to get information. When an NFC equipped mobile phone or other device is placed near the tag, the small signal that’s release from the battery equipped tag (yes, there is actually a battery in there!) automatically sends the user to a webpage, video, or any other online content you can imagine. Gone are the days of QR codes, when a complicated focusing process had to launch via app before the final destination could be reached. NFC apps are as simple as a one click, then bump process that completes the data transfer instantly and without delay.

Can they be Edited?

One of the best features about NFC tags is that they can be reprogrammed any time, remotely to edit the destination of the tags once they’re out in the world. This means, that if you were sending people who took your NFC equipped business cards to a product page that no longer exists – you can simply change the final destination page to something different. Not only does this protect you from failed customer experiences – it also protects you from static marketing! While print marketing is extremely effective because it lives on in the real world, where digital median fails to stay visible when the computer screen turns off – it can get outdated pretty quickly, as it obviously can’t be edited once it’s printed and distributed. With NFC, you can add in the feature of being able to edit, and make any print marketing current, simply by attaching an NFC tag to the piece. Why not give your printing the extra edge with some new technology? NFC is that technology.

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What About Tracking

Like any mobile or other ecommerce marketing solution, tracking is an essential part of knowing if things are actually working for your business. With NFC, you get access to unique tracking metrics including how many times the  tag has been “bumped”, how many clicks the landing page receive, how long someone stayed there etc. Other than tracking where your NFC business card literally travels day to day – these tags can do pretty much anything you can imagine tracking wise. If you’re wondering why you shouldn’t simply launch a standard internet marketing campaign with all of this same tracking, just ask yourself about the general benefits of marketing your business with print.

These are things like direct mail marketing – where you can guarantee impressions at a higher rate than any web campaign. Think about it, someone has to pick up your direct mail piece and observe what it is inside their stack of mail before doing anything else with it. This means it will definitely get seen, unlike emails and other digital marketing that gets filtered out by SPAM filters, and other digital filtering tools. Print marketing and NFC combined is the best of both worlds!