This follows on from my earlier blogs on the subject of NFC mobile phones being used in conjunction with Location Based Marketing services.

One of the challenges is getting consumers to interact with a physical location (café, bar, store…).  This is vital, because this is where engagement with the consumer begins and gives the business a chance to make offers to the consumer, create brand loyalty, and plug into the consumer’s social network (with permission of course).  A potentially powerful way to accomplish this is “gamification”.

The idea is that if you turn a new activity into a game, then consumers who would otherwise be wary will be encouraged to take part.  Wikipedia describes it succinctly, thus: Gamification is the use of game play mechanics for non-game applications (also known as “funware“), particularly consumer-oriented web and mobile sites, in order to encourage people to adopt the applications. It also strives to encourage users to engage in desired behaviors in connection with the applications.  Gamification works by making technology more engaging, and by encouraging desired behaviors, taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in gaming. The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, shopping, or reading web sites.  There’s more there you can read for yourselves.

This is perfect for NFC.  If a business wants to engage with consumers where they are, as they go about their lives, then with NFC they can tap a tag enabled poster.  This could give them a special offer, and could also be another step in the game.  It is human nature to compete and collect, in return for status and/or rewards.

It will be interesting to see how gaming supports and enhances the adoption of NFC as a tool to support mobile as an important and growing channel to reach target markets.

Fenbrook Consulting advises businesses about the commercial opportunities and technical requirements of Near Field Communications

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