A universal truth about marketers is that we love to be the first to the party. What I mean by that is marketers get a kick out of being early adopters. I know this from the daily tech stacks I see posted on LinkedIn from marketers (this has to stop, by the way 😠 ). So it’s an unusual occurrence when marketers shy away from new technology like near-field communication (NFC). For some reason, NFC makes the hair on the backs of marketers stand up. After listening to NFC Evangelist at NXP Semiconductors, Tim Daly, on Mobile Matters, I think you’ll have a change of heart.
No, It’s Not just Apple Pay
If you’re part of the 51 percent of people using contactless payment, then you understand how NFC works. Shortwave radio frequencies make it possible to transmit information between devices. If you’re part of the half who isn’t tapping yet, what are you waiting for? I’ll let you brush up on some of the benefits of contactless payment that’ll have you ditching your physical wallet for a mobile one.
The perceived cost of NFC is usually one of the major hangups I hear from marketers. But guess what, everyone…NFC chips could only set you back around $0.25 per tag. It’s usually way cheaper than this when you buy in bulk too! NFC’s small price tag could reap big rewards for you and your brand.
Let’s Get to Know One Another
Marketers are sometimes like the nosey aunt at Thanksgiving, who asks a few too many questions about your life when you’re just trying to enjoy your second helping of mashed potatoes. Like your inquisitive family member, marketers ask these questions because we care about you. We want to curate a more personalized experience for you, but we can’t do that without getting to know you better.
Take Tim’s example of the battle between retailers and brands. A problem a lot of brands have is they don’t know who their customers are. Because they don’t have access to the customer data retailers do, it makes it difficult for brands to provide their customers with relevant content. NFC is an easy (and non-intrusive) way for consumers to invite your brand into their lives.
Your Brand’s Security Guard
Who else was utterly shocked at Tim’s comment about the major outdoor clothing manufacturer seeing 50 percent of their global product returns being counterfeit products? It’s estimated in 2018 there was $323 billion damage to the global economy related to counterfeit goods. Common counterfeit goods include makeup, skincare, and medication. These items are particularly dangerous because they can cause some severe health consequences (arsenic is a common ingredient in most counterfeit makeup products). And we’re more susceptible to these illegitimate products than you would think – more than 25 percent of consumers have unwillingly purchased counterfeit merchandise online. If only there were a way to verify the product you’ve purchased is legitimate on a mobile platform…
NFC is basically the best security guard you could have for your brand. By embedding an NFC tag in your product, the number of people trying to return counterfeit products to your store could drastically decrease. And the protection goes both ways. Consumers will have the peace of mind that the product they purchased is authentic. Nike created an NFC connected jersey that not only authenticated the product but also activated player-specific mobile experiences.
Before You Get Started…
Take off your marketing hat for a second. How many brand videos have you watched recently – and I mean viewed in its entirety with your undivided attention? My answer is a big, fat goose egg. Listen, I get it – we as marketers get excited by a new video that we are confident consumers will watch. But the harsh truth is consumers are impatient and have short attention spans (it’s now shorter than a goldfish).
Provide resources, and content consumers actually want. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not going to win Top Chef anytime soon because I never know what to make for dinner. What would drum up some inspiration is a product in the grocery store with an NFC experience that provided recipes. With NFC, my cooking woes could be gone in a matter of milliseconds. 🍽