Tag Archives: NFC

What’s NFC and How Can I Use it in My Marketing?

Image courtesy of The Verge.

So, what exactly is NFC?

NFC stands for Near Field Communication, a short range wireless RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) communication technology which allows two devices to communicate and share information with one another once they are within a certain range. What’s especially cool about NFC technology is that there’s no need to download or launch an application to use it – bringing the NFC-equipped devices near one another automatically triggers the action.

But isn’t that a QR code?

The short answer? Not exactly.

Though QR codes and NFC can both be used to transfer data and link content wirelessly, there are some key factors that differentiate one from the other. Here’s an infographic from www.unitag.io which illustrates how you can tell them apart.

Infographic courtesy of www.unitag.io.

Then how does this apply to my marketing?

To unleash the full potential of what NFC technology has to offer, we’ve compiled a few simple ideas and benefits to using it in your future marketing campaigns.

  1. It works everywhere. That bus station in the middle of nowhere? NFC works there. How about that national park with spotty cell service? Yup, there, too. What’s truly remarkable about NFC technology is that it’s usable in environments where Bluetooth or service is of limited use.
  2. It allows you to tell a bigger story. Does your business’ product or service have more to it than can fit on an ad or shelf-talker? NFC might just be for you. A simple NFC tag embedded in a shelf-talker, POS display or packaging can deliver additional information – such as free recipes, loyalty discounts, video demonstrations or educational material – that can provide more context for customers and motivate them to act. 
  3. It takes the online offline (and vice versa). Roughly three quarters of Americans currently own smartphones, according to a 2017 study by the Pew Research Center. They don’t predict this will be slowing down anytime soon. As a marketer, it’s becoming increasingly important to build more integrated customer experiences that can bridge the virtual and physical worlds in a way that fits buyers’ lifestyles and captures their attention.
  4. It helps create tailored offerings for customers. As marketers, we all know that the most valuable currency we have is data. The more we know about the preferences, geography, income and purchasing habits of each target customer, the better we can reach them at the right time in the right place with the right offer. With NFC, a direct connection is initiated between individuals and marketers. As a result, we’re able to learn more about them and develop tailored offerings they value. 
  5. It hands the power over to consumers, but not entirely. It’s been said that the average American sees or hears more than 4,000 ads per day. In a world where each one of us is bombarded with unsolicited advertising, NFC technology gives users greater control over their interactions.

Interested to learn more about NFC? Visit our Print and NFC page on the Structural Graphics website to see examples of NFC campaigns our clients have created.

Contact us for more information on the technology, how we’ve implemented it and what we can do using NFC to help your business. The possibilities are endless.

Looking to Take Advantage of USPS’ 2019 Promotions? Here’s How.

Earlier in the year, the U.S. Postal Service re-introduced the first of six new promotions on direct mail for business. Although these promotions could provide substantial discounts on postage for businesses looking to send direct mail, meeting the requirements will entail some work. Here, we’ve broken down two of the six promotions the USPS is offering in 2019.

  1. The Tactile, Sensory and Interactive (TSI) promotion is for mailers who enhance their customers’ experience through direct mail via the use of advanced print innovations in paper, specialty inks and interactive elements like pop-ups or folds. Mailers can register for this promotion through July 31, 2019 upon which they’ll be eligible for an upfront two percent postage discount during the promotional period on qualified marketing mail, non-profit letters and flats.
  2. The USPS’ second promotion, for Emerging and Advanced Technology, encourages mailers to incorporate emerging technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Near Field Communications (NFC), Virtual Reality (VR), and Video In Print into their direct mail pieces. The idea here is to make the physical direct mail piece more effective by incorporating it into a cohesive and multi-channel campaign. Registration is open through August 31, 2019 and the promotion runs from March 1 through August 31. Like the TSI promotion, the Emerging and Advanced Technology promotion gives an upfront two percent postage discount at the time of mailing. 

For more information and guidance on how to create a campaign that meets the USPS requirements, click here.

Incorporating Technology into Print Marketing

Hello, friends! This week we’re talking tech.  We’ll take a quick look at some cool ideas that you can easily incorporate into your printed campaign. By incorporating these cost-effective elements into your strategy, your customers are able to interact with your brand in another dimension. Let’s start with the basics:

Video, Lights, and Sound: You can marry full motion video with the printed page. Video is available in a variety of screen sizes, video lengths, and is fully rechargeable and re-usable. It’s also 100% customizable. Think audio and LED panel lights are more suited to your marketing needs?  Connect with your customers by inserting this technology in unique magazine inserts, direct mail, point of purchase displays, and premiums. Check out a video player that we produced for Qutenza:

Qutenza-stillcode# 8512-590

 Augmented Reality (AR) is not new, but has steadily been gaining traction in recent years. The aim of AR is to simulate an environment in real-time via your mobile device or desktop computer.

AR-on-phoneAugmented Reality on a mobile device.

A printed “tag” lives on your print piece and this acts as the trigger to launch the animation, the video, or the 3D rendering that responds to the context of your environment. Check out more about how our partner Taggar, is revolutionizing the industry:

Taggar makes AR sociable

Near Field Communication: (NFC) has also been a player for several years but is still considered cutting-edge. The basic premise of this technology utilizes wireless radio communications. NFC tags are small, thin discs that can be inserted into print pieces or stickers and are read via your smartphone or other NFC-enabled device. There are multiple vendors who are already building this capability into the hardware of their mobile devices – including Samsung, Nokia, and LG.

Here are some potential creative uses for NFC tags in everyday life. (Imagine what you could do to promote your brand and increase customer interaction!)

Creative NFC Ideas

All of these unique mediums are totally customizable. The only limits are what we can imagine together!