NFC has the potential to be a true game-changer

Mikhail Damiani, Blue Bite

Mikhail Damiani, Blue Bite

by Robert Sabella


In planning our 2013 training schedule, I had the opportunity to sit down with one of our premier sponsors, Mikhail Damiani of Blue Bite, LLC.  Headquartered in New York City, Blue Bite provides mobile marketing services and specializes in location-based campaigns. One of Mikhail’s recent campaigns was Rock the Vote, which allowed users to deliver relevant media messages that resonated with younger voters. Its mTAG platform enabled smartphone users to connect with the interactive campaigns by tapping or scanning the mTAG-enabled posters to register for voting, without having to download external applications.

RS:          Mikhail, you founded Blue Bite in 2006 and have a wealth of experience in mobile marketing.  How would you characterize what you do?  An advertising agency? A technology or software platform company? A marketing and business analytics provider?

MD:       At Blue Bite, we play a unique role in that we handle the entire process of the mobile advertising experience from concept through analytics. We leverage a variety of technologies, including QR codes, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and SMS, with near field communication (NFC) being one of the newest tools in our toolbox. That said, we’re excited about NFC’s potential to revolutionize advertising by turning an opportunity to deliver an impression into a chance to truly engage consumers. We’re proud to be a leader in the NFC space.

RS:          I, too, am excited about the potential that NFC poses in the marketplace.  In some of my recent blogs on NFC Bootcamp I’ve talked about education and adoption, as well as the increasing availability of NFC-enabled smart devices to consumers. I’m seeing advertising campaigns from the mobile companies like Samsung touting the ability to simply tap to exchange information, data, videos, playlists and more.  But as compelling and memorable as those ads are, is the “cool factor” really enough to drive adoption of NFC technology?

MD:       I believe the major hurdles in NFC’s adoption are market penetration and education.  It’s terrific that we’ve achieved 12% penetration in less than two years, but we need higher penetration rates before NFC can begin to reach its full potential. Education is needed on both the consumer and brand/advertiser fronts. Consumers need to understand how the technology works and what they can get by using it; and brands and agencies need to understand that delivering value is the key to fully maximizing the technology’s potential.

RS:          Yes, delivering value is key.  For any company, it is the customer experience that drives awareness, loyalty and referrals.  How do you see NFC contributing to this?

MD:       I think NFC has the potential to be a true game-changer. It’s a major evolution in advertising because it goes beyond just delivering brand impressions and provides an opportunity for direct consumer engagement. The challenge for brands is to use the opportunity NFC provides to deliver something of real value to consumers. Brands that do that effectively can use NFC to bring advertising to a whole new level.

Mikhail Damiani is NFC Bootcamp’s featured speaker next week for the next installment of our webinars series on January 29, at 2:00 pm Eastern (US).  Register now for Home Signage with Mobile: The NFC Experience and learn more about creative ways to reach your target audience while they are on the go. Registration is free.

Mikhail will also be a featured speaker at our next NFC Bootcamp in Irvine, California, February 20-21. Register now for the event with Promo Code “game changer” and you’ll receive an additional 10% off the price of the event.

About the Author:

Rob SabellaRobert P. Sabella is founder and CEO of OTA Training, LLC. OTA is a global leader in RFID and NFC training and certification. OTA Training is the creator and producer of the NFC Bootcamp™ series, the first globally standardized NFC training program. Robert brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial experience to OTA and is considered one of the most innovative leaders in developing and bringing new technologies to market.




  1. How? Aside from simplicity- which I give you is big….how does this take us beyond qr? You guys all tall about revolution- please tell me how NFC takes us beyond qr when we are asking the same questions and making the same platitudes. Of course it’s about the Ux. what isn’t?

  2. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the questions. As in all technology selection there are pro’s and con’s to any decision. One of the more obvious ones is cost. The cost of a QR code is practically zero. Hard to compete with that from cost perspective. NFC tags are around the .25 to .70 depending on volume.

    But for the user, it is all about the user experience. And for the Brand, it is all about the data.

    I am working a blog about this very topic as it seems to be something a lot of people are asking. And it is a very good question. We cover this in great details at our Bootcamps as well for that reason, but in short, here is a high level answer.

    QR codes: low cost, need to download an app to use, doesn’t work well in dimly lit areas, if the QR code is smudges or black ink gets on it, it won’t work, lots of brands and agencies don’t like putting a black dot on their beautiful artwork.

    NFC: cost more, easy to use (no need to download an app), works in all environments (easy to use), can be embedded in all kinds of marketing material with little or no impact on design, can and will be integrated into payment / loyalty / couponing programs.

    For the brands, more info can be gleaned from an NFC tap in as well. And more interactive data can be deployed, ie. a QR code only redirects you to a website. An NFC tag does the same thing more or less, but if I tap the same tag twice I can tell that and offer different content.

    And it seems like from early results that people just like to use it more. Check out this article:

    So, in short, it is ALL about the User Experience.

  3. NFC has way more power then a QR code, and as a designer, I can say I HATE putting those ugly things on anything, and even more so hate having to design something with a giant square bar code as the focus of the layout, ew.

    NFC also allows for encrypted file transfers, so not just safe for payments… but you can transfer other data securely too.

    And yes, the communication can go both ways, I get info, they get info.

    You can store quite a sizable file on an NFC tag, a sound byte, a photo… what if you don’t have data coverage where you are? Can’t take someone to a website then right?

    It’s all very exciting.

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