NFC, or near field technology, is being increasingly accepted as a technology that can effectively connect the online world with the offline world. Although there has been some backlash against it, it has actually become clearer than ever that NFC does have a place in our modern lives, especially in mobile marketing.
In the first place, there’s the growing evidence of actual, hard data that says that QR code usage is, in fact, increasing. Second, one needs to consider how well QR codes are being used before one dismisses them. There have been cases of well-thought out campaigns that maximized the benefits of using QR codes, and there have been many marketing campaigns which have failed at the most basic level and rendered their QR codes completely useless. Any technology is, ultimately, only as good as the uses you put it to.
The same arguments could be made for NFC as well. While there have been plenty of cases where NFC has been used merely as a gimmick, there have also been campaigns where the use of NFC enhanced communication between the brand and its consumers. A good case in point is the use of NFC on UK rail operator, South West Train’s carriages. The trains have NFC and QR code touch points which give passengers access to offers, deals and vouchers which have been tailored to their interests. This is an effective way of using technology in a way that directly benefits consumers.
We’ve argued on this blog before about the continued relevance of NFC despite Apple Inc.’s refusal to adopt the technology in its devices. It’s a point that deserves to be made again: NFC technology, like any other technology, is practical and engaging, but only as long as it’s used in a thoughtful manner.