Near Field Communication: Out-of-Home in ‘Near’ Site



With the emergence of NFC-based interactivity in out-of-home advertising, a growing number of brands have elected to conduct trials of near field communication (NFC) to bridge their consumers’ physical and digital worlds. As NFC edges closer to universal adoption, the convenience, simplicity and intuitiveness of the technology will surely fascinate brands across the consumer value chain. Out-of-home advertising is already beginning to quench its thirst by drinking the Kool-Aid of smartphone tapping. And during the past year, several brands have begun to engage their audiences via mobile through deploying NFC, QR codes and in some cases, augmented reality.

With the growling availability of NFC-enabled devices in the marketplace, relevance to the consumer and individualized content are driving forces behind the surge of embracement.  The growth of digital out-of-home has served as a catalyst in the shift from traditional posters and advertising to mobile and “smart” interactive marketing. As the appetite for NFC-based marketing matures, whether content downloads, social media or discount- and loyalty-based programs, the demand for more engaged, simplified and personalized retail experiences is strengthening.

Obviously, not every brand is cognizant of the success of interactive marketing, as clearly signified by the lack of social media, digital or enhanced traditional initiatives by many companies. However, content, awareness and education will serve as the vehicles for companies electing to revolutionize their approach to engaging their consumer base. Take for instance JCDecaux. In a UK first, the company used Reading bus shelters and poster sites as a pilot to test the waters in NFC-enabled OOH. During the four-week trial, JCDecaux allowed people to download content, information, discounts and offers, as well as directly interact with 13 various brands via a simple tap of an NFC tag or a zap of QR code. More than 300 posters were equipped with NFC to enhance advertising from the respective brands, including H&M, ITV, Mercedes, Morrisons and Unilever. Not surprisingly, the pilot revealed that nearly 9 in 10 consumers (87%) with NFC-enabled phones would use the contactless technology again, while roughly 80% of those without the capability would like to try it.

Based on the findings of the Reading pilot, it appears that conversion and redemption rate were relatively high, indicating consumers’ predisposition for interactive, enticing and captivating content and capture. In order to create a successful campaign and engage a critical audience, brands must build upon an existing B2C relationship – discount and loyalty programs, personalized content, etc. while enticing and engaging new consumers via the use of voucher redemptions within close proximity of a retail storefront.

While on the go, people want their common tasks to be simplified, streamlined and beneficial to them. As NFC steadily continues to pick up speed and consumers (and businesses as well) become aware of the use and benefits of frictionless technology, we will see greater potential and opportunity for deployment of interactive “smart” marketing through social media and other forms of digital marketing.

About the Author:

Artie BeavisAs President & Founder of RTB Social, Artie Beavis possesses extensive social media, marketing and NFC know-how with experience and a proven track record across a breadth of verticals. Prior to launching his own Connecticut-based digital marketing agency, he served as Social Media & Marketing Manager for Identive Group. There, he single-handedly architected and implemented the company’s market-leading social initiatives and assisted in a number of marketing campaigns, many of them involving the company’s latest NFC solutions. He has written several blog posts and articles throughout the industry on the future of NFC, its relationship to social media as well as the current shift in the marketing landscape via contactless deployment. Incorporating his passion and knowledge in the NFC arena, his social media agency aspires to facilitate the implementation in the marketing world and bring the digital world to life. Prior to Identive, Artie held multiple social media and account director roles within the hospitality and marketing realms. He studied Sports Management at New York University before earning a B.S. in Sports & Hospitality Management from Lynn University.



  1. It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing this Artie! This topic is so exciting right now.

    There’s a whitepaper that was recently published that goes even further into NFC and its’ case studies:

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