ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

News America Marketing plugs NFC for in-store mobile campaigns

News America Marketing has launched an on-shelf retail program that uses near-field communication to deliver mobile coupons to consumers.

News America Marketing’s new SmartSource with NFC program is rolling out to the majority of the company’s 52,000 retail stores. Kraft, Nilla Wafers and Philadelphia are all brands that have tested the technology, with results suggesting that NFC is effective at increasing coupon redemption, application downloads and time spent in front of a shelf.

“The goal of the program is to interact with shoppers in a new and exciting way that will give consumers the information they need to make purchase decisions,” said Jesse Aversano, executive vice president of marketing at News America Marketing, New York.

“It turns consumers into brand ambassadors, and allows the manufacturer to develop an ongoing relationship with the consumer, whether through recipes, apps, promotional games, sweepstakes or other interactive means,” he said.

“The fact that SmartSource with NFC gives information to consumers in such an easy way without any added scanning or app downloading makes it particularly powerful.”

News America Marketing is the marketing partner behind the SmartSource line of products in the United States and Canada. The company’s reach claims to include 52,500 retail stores, more than 1,700 publications and 300 partner sites.

How it works
Marketers can use the new program to embed RFID and NFC tags into SmartSource Shelftalk and Shelftalk Banner products.

The tags then detect when an NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet is nearby to the marketing collateral. A piece of branded media content is then delivered to the mobile devices.

This content can include a promotional game, sweepstakes, coupon, recipe or an application download.

Additionally, the content can be set up so that it can be shared via social media to spread the word to friends and family members.

A program with Kraft, Nila Wafers and Philadelphia Indulgence last year found that consumer engagement at a shelf increased to 48 seconds from a previous five to ten seconds (see story).

Moreover, 36 percent of consumers that interacted with the NFC technology took a direct action from the content that was served to their mobile device. This included app downloads, saving a recipe or using social media to share the brand.

The company also claims that the effort produced engagement levels that were 12 times higher than QR codes.

News America Marketing partnered with Thinaire on the program, which specializes in NFC marketing.

Added engagement
The companies cite data from ABI Research that found that 125 million NFC-enabled mobile devices were shipped in 2012 as proof that NFC is gaining steam with marketers. By 2015, 630 million devices are expected to ship.

Although QR codes do hit a larger chunk of mobile devices because of the multiple mobile bar code-scanning apps available, the technology can be difficult for consumers to use since it involves multiple steps.

For consumer packaged goods brands that only have a split second to make an impression on consumers in front of a crowded grocery store shelf, NFC is an appealing alternative to 2D codes since consumers only have to tap their mobile device against a piece of media.

“NFC is an on-ramp to rich and relevant mobile experiences for shoppers,” Mr. Aversano said.

“It allows consumers to easily interact with products at the point of decision using their smartphones making the technology beneficial to both consumers and brands,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York