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News America Marketing, which owns the SmartSource family of marketing and promotional products and services in the U.S. and Canada, has launched its Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled at-shelf program to engage consumers while they shop.
The new program was developed in partnership with Thinaire -- a pioneer in NFC – and the resulting “SmartSource with NFC” is now available in the majority of News America Marketing’s 52,000-store national retail network.
“SmartSource with NFC is a tremendous new product that makes it possible for consumers to have interactive mobile experiences with brands as they’re shopping,” said Jesse Aversano, EVP, marketing, News America Marketing. “The power of NFC is that it converts print media into an engaging digital experience at the moment when consumers are making a purchase decision.”
To create the SmartSource with NFC program, special RFID/NFC tags are embedded within a standard Shelftalk or Shelftalk Banner sign. These tags deliver branded media content onto NFC-enabled smartphones or tablets whenever a shopper places their mobile device in close proximity to the in-store media, without the friction of an App or scanner.
When the consumer holds his or her smartphone near the chip, they’re led directly to an interactive brand experience, including recipes, promotional games, sweepstakes, digital coupons, app downloads or other customized involvement. Brands can also elect to include social sharing options across a broad range of platforms so that shoppers effectively become brand ambassadors. The technology captures numerous key metrics including number of interactions, date and time of tap, store location and type of device used. Thinaire’s mobile marketing platform also provides rich social media data, including peer-to-peer shares.
In 2012, 125 million NFC-enabled phones were shipped, and 630 million of these devices are projected globally by 2015.
A market test with Kraft Natural Cheese, Nilla Wafers and Philadelphia Indulgence last fall generated the following results, according to NAM:
- Consumer engagement at shelf increased from 5-10 seconds to 48 seconds.
- Thirty-six percent of all consumers who interacted with the NFC-enhanced Shelftalk acted, whether saving a recipe, downloading the Kraft app or sharing the brand socially.
- Compared to QR Codes, the overall engagement level with NFC was 12 times higher.
The consumers who engaged with the program viewed it as a totally new experience and were highly satisfied with the simplicity and quality of the NFC interaction in their grocery store, and referenced wanting to be engaged in the experience again. “Initial results from our pilot are very positive and set the stage for our 2013 brand efforts in mobile,” said Edward Kaczmarek, director of innovation and emerging technology, Mondelez International.
“Not only does SmartSource with NFC bridge the print to digital gap that’s been puzzling many brands, it does it in a way that consumers have been very receptive to,” said Aversano. “Imagine a promotion that consumers want to engage with again and again. We’re very excited to be able to offer exactly that to our clients.”