When was the last time you saw an advertisement?

Probably sometime within the last couple of hours. Advertisements and marketing are central to our modern world as much as smartphones are. From barcode labels online to giant posters and billboards along the highway, we’re constantly bombarded by streams of advertisements.

While there’s no doubt that these types of advertisements work to reach their intended market, advertisers are always looking for better and more efficient ways to get to their customers. The onset of the Internet has made advertising more affordable, but what’s the best type of advertising that still considers both the cost and the price?

One of the new ways that advertisers are leveraging technology for better marketing is by using Near Field Communication technology or NFC.

What is it?

NFC technology is a series of communication protocols that allow a device to acquire, read, or edit data on another device via proximity to it (usually about 4-5 inches.) It’s not a new technology—in fact, it’s been regularly used in the industrial sector for a while—but it’s only now that it’s starting to make its presence felt in the commercial sector.

NFC devices can take a variety of forms, but their most common design is either a slim strip or card that can be scanned and edited via tapping or close-range contact. NFC is the technology behind many of today’s tap-to-pay systems, modern metro passes, and other types of proximity-based actions.

Why can it help advertisers?

While it can sound rather challenging to the uninitiated to understand how they can properly market using NFC, one only needs to remember that NFC devices already exist and are being used by the target market in the form of smartphones. NFC systems have been implemented in smartphones ever since the invention of infrared and Bluetooth systems.

Combined with the relatively easy rollout and costs that you incur when deploying an NFC system, it suddenly opens a new dimension of marketing that other companies didn’t have the technology to access. With NFC support, it becomes possible to roll out entire campaigns and marketing strategies based on consumer-ad interaction alone.

Man using NFC Technology

How can you reasonably deploy this?

One of the best ways to do this is by leveraging the natural tendency of the consumer to want to interact with the marketed product. While getting things to the market has been made easier with the creation of the Internet, it does become a little more complex to give your audience something they can actively engage with.

Clever use of NFC technology can bridge the gap between the physical and digital space, allowing marketers and advertisers to find more possibilities when it comes to advertising. For example, activation events can have a series of NFC-enabled devices that visitors can scan and interact with as an exhibit, or have a centralized hub that they can connect to and engage with.

NFC as an engaged way of communicating with your target market

Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that the novelty of this approach should not replace proper market positioning and strategy. What NFC does is give marketers a new platform and method to advertise, but best practices when it comes to advertising must still be considered when launching anything using NFC support.

If used properly, NFC campaigns are a dynamic, interactive way for a brand can engage with their target market. It gives companies a whole new dimension of advertising that other traditional methods can’t match.