I recently had the chance to speak at the 2012 MFSA Southwest Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.
I want to express my sincere gratitude to the conference organizers for having me down and to all of the attendees for making me feel loved. I mean it! I really appreciated it. There was a great camaraderie throughout the conference.
Throughout my presentation, I discussed the convergence of traditonal forms of marketing — including print, mail, and fulfillment — with online marketing, social media, and mobile.
I presented strategies, tips, and tools that service providers can use to effectively sell, build, manage, execute, and measure multi-channel marketing solutions.
Below are the slides that I used for my presentation. I hope that you find them helpful!
I took a moment to film this video regarding what I’ll be talking about:
Title: A New Path To Sustainable Growth
Description: During this session, I will present growth strategies for printers in the labels and packaging space. I will provide ideas and tactics that printers can use to stand out from their competition. I will provide an overview of new technologies and marketing channels that can be used to make print interactive and deliver more relevant content to the consumer. I will also provide inspiration and actionable steps for printers that are looking to improve their own sales and marketing efforts.
However, we are always keeping our eyes open to other technologies that could disrupt the way that people consume information and communicate.
Ladies and Gentleman, Here Comes NFC
Before we discuss what NFC is, we’d like to demonstrate it to you. Here’s a video that I recently had the chance to film with our CEO John Foley, Jr.:
An Overview of NFC
NFC stands for Near Field Communications. To put it simply, it is wireless technology that allows an initiator and a target to interact within close range.
Thus, NFC makes it possible for us to do what we did in that video — we could simply tap our NFC-enabled phone against the printed piece, which then directed us to the web.
That’s one of the big differences between NFC and QR Codes. With NFC, we did not need to open up an App first, and have it do the work of figuring out where the QR Code on the printed piece wants to send us.
The Mobile Buzz
Over the past couple of years, the mobile world has certainly been spreading the buzz about NFC.
Granted, the buzz about QR Codes has been much louder! And for good reason.
In order to use a QR Code, you primarily just need to have a smartphone. Anyone with a smartphone can download a QR Code reader App to start interacting with printed materials that have QR Codes.
However, you can’t just download an App on your iPhone today to use NFC.
The enablement of NFC primarily requires hardware changes. As of today, the iPhone does not support it. The same can be said for many of the other smartphones that are owned in the United States, as well as in other parts of the world.
However, that will change sooner than later. We don’t know when Apple will start supporting NFC in the iPhone. But when it happens, the usage of NFC will certainly take off.
More NFC Resources
If you’d like to read more about NFC, here are a few links that may help:
A lot of the recent talk and news centers around how it will be a huge player in the mobile payment world.
You’ll be able to pay for things simply with your mobile phone thanks to NFC
You’ll be to access/present your account information for a loyalty card program thanks to NFC
You’ll be to take advantage of coupons and discounts with your phone thanks to NFC
But it certainly goes beyond that.
You’ll be able to register for contests by tapping your phone against a poster or flyer
You’ll be able to watch a How-To video after tapping your phone against a product’s packaging
You’ll be able to connect with people you meet by tapping your phone against their business card
John Foley, Jr.'s NFC LinkedIn Card
Will NFC Replace QR Codes?
This is just my opinion — but I certainly do not think that a surge of brands using NFC will spell the end of QR Codes anytime soon.
For one, NFC is not going to work unless you are a extremely close to the target (1.5 inches, according to Wikipedia). Thus, I think that QR Codes will continue to be an effective way for people to make posters, signs, and other printed banners interactive.
In the end, technology succeeds if it truly makes life easier for customers and prospects. Is it easy-to-use? Is it easy to explain the technology to other people? Does it deliver an appropriate and compelling experience?
Those types of questions will always be ones that the technologies of the future need to answer. No matter what “wins”, it looks like we are all in for some excitement and changes.
They utilize a variety of our features, including:
Online Order Entry
Pick Tickets and Packing Slips
Of course, simply utilizing our software is only part of what H & H Graphics Group does each day when it comes to their fulfillment process. Another piece to that involves the marketing and sales efforts that they execute to bring on new clients.
I wanted to highlight one of the unique ways that H & H Graphics Group does this — with video!
In the video above, Mike Williams – a Publishing and Fulfillment Consultant at H & H Graphics Group – demonstrates some of the main features and benefits of their Fulfillment operations.
I think that this is a great way to tell a company’s story about a process that may not always be easy to comprehend.