Tag Archives: NFC

Four Integrated Marketing Trends

11 Jun

As technology develops and changes the way we do business, no longer is any one marketing medium considered king. Most campaigns now consist of several integrated strategies incorporating both print and online marketing; in fact, a recent Pitney-Bowes survey shows that 76 percent of small businesses say their ideal marketing strategy encompasses a combination of print and digital communication.

Here are a few trends in multi-channel marketing.

Personalized Videos

Video has a unique place in the marketing mix. Video content is easily absorbed and ideal for communicating complex details in a simple manner. Combine the power of video with the benefits ofPrint Digital personalization to get the maximum viewer experience. Personalization is done through variable text, personalized still images, and special effects.

QR Codes and NFCs

Several weeks ago, we did a blog on Near Field Communication (Near-Field Communication (NFC) — What’s in it for me?). Somewhat new to the market, NFCs are likely to replace QR codes but they work similarly in that they both provide easy links between two channels of communication. In specific, NFC technology uses a tiny microchip to send a signal directly to your mobile device.

Personalized URLs (PURLs)

PURLs combine variable data printing with digital forms of collecting data. Readers respond to seeing their name in print and go to a personalized landing page where they see their name and other personal information again. In return, they are likely to provide additional information useful for your contact database. PURLs are a great way to improve response rates and return on investment. Also, using additional design features and including a targeted special offer enhances the customer experience and perception of brand.

Variable Data Printing (VDP)

Although variable data printing isn’t exactly new, marketers are using it with increased confidence and for more complex campaigns. VDP allows you to uniquely customize and personalize each piece by changing both type and images. For example, savvy marketers send a postcard with an image of a ski lift to a client whose idea of a perfect vacation is a ski vacation, and a picture of a beautifully sandy ocean front to a beach lover.  The driving force behind a successful VDP program is the database. To get the most bang for the buck with variable data, companies need to know their customers’ interests, spending habits, hobbies, and dreams. Variable data works because it appeals to emotions and the reader perceives that special touch often lacking in traditional print marketing.


Near-Field Communication (NFC) — What’s in it for me?

20 May

Have you ever wondered what makes tap-and-go payment services like Apple Pay and Google Wallet work? Although it seems somewhat magical, it’s really just a method of wireless data transfer that detects and enables technology in devices near each other to communicate NFC2without the need for an internet connection. Called Near-Field Communication (NFC), it is a new technology that is not yet available in all electronic devices, but is likely to replace QR codes and other forms of technology down the line. NFC technology uses a tiny microchip to send a signal directly to your mobile device.

How does NFC work?

The technology involved is relatively simple. It evolved from radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, and the NFC chip operates as one part of a wireless link. Once it’s activated by another chip, small amounts of data transfer between the two devices.

NFC is easy and power efficient.

No pairing code is necessary to link up and because it uses chips that run on very low amounts of power, it’s much more power-efficient than other wireless communication types.

How can I use NFC?

Digital Wallet

At its simplest, NFC identifies us by our enabled credit cards and devices (and by extension, our bank accounts and other personal info). That said, NFC chips inside credit cards for contactless payments is nothing new but a more recent, and admittedly more enticing, use for NFC is with your smartphone or other electronic device that can digitize your entire wallet.

Virtually every mobile OS maker has its own apps that offer unique NFC functionality. Android users have the widest variety to choose from. United States users can nab Google Wallet, which accesses funds for contactless payments. Samsung Pay, which operates similarly, is on the way for Samsung phone users in the U.S. and Korea this summer. Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus received NFC functionality, albeit with limited use so far, only for Apple Pay. Lastly, those who prefer Microsoft’s Windows Phone will be able to use Microsoft Payments when it is released. Looking toward the future, it’s possible that NFC chips could be used to replace every card in your wallet. That means the unique info on your frequent shopper loyalty cards, library card, business cards, etc. could be contained and transmitted simply via NFC.

Easy file transfer

Information stored on your phone—including photos, videos, documents, music, and personal contact information—can also be transferred easily using NFC-based apps such as Android’s FileBeam.

Using Beam, you will no longer need to manually enter another person’s contact information. Here, by tapping two NFC-enabled smartphones together, you can exchange digital data with anyone. Beam allows you to use NFC to exchange data not only with Android devices but also with devices running other operating systems.

Easy listening

NFC enables you to automatically connect your phone to NFC-enabled Bluetooth speakers so that you can play music from your phone simply by tapping your phone to it. You can also tap and connect your NFC-capable smartphone to a hub that plugs into your home audio system.

Using NFC tags

Many people are likely to find user-programmable plastic or paper NFC tags to be NFC’s most useful application. The tags can contain either information (such as your business card info) or instructions to perform actions (launching apps, changing your ringtone, setting alarms, turning GPS on or off, etc.) and even action sequences. When you tap your phone against one of the tags, the actions are carried out on your phone.The tags are small, inexpensive, and can be carried on your keychain. One convenient use for an information-only tag is storing the access information for your home or business Wi-Fi network to make it easy for others to join. Stick the tag on a wall or some other convenient spot, and a visitor with an app like WifiTap can touch the tag with their NFC-enabled phone and automatically connect to your network.

To summarize, while NFC’s uses will certainly expand in the future, it can currently be used with apps like FileBeam for information transfer. It can also, with just a bit more effort, save you lots of time and energy by automating repetitive tasks.