Connecting physical media to the digital world is at the core of Tamoco’s business. Tamoco is a London-based company that has been active for only two years but has already secured big name clients such as AT&T, Tesco and BMW among others. Its list of partners is equally impressive, including Hewlett-Packard, Smartrak, and RapidNFC. Tamoco employs a range of proximity technologies such as near field communication (NFC), WiFi, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and OR-codes. Most recently, it developed a print ad with an NFC-tag for BMW that allowed readers to download the BMW i app and access valuable content simply by placing their mobile phones next to the ad.
NFC is used in several mobile payment systems and requires proximity of ten centimeters or less. It has gained popularity in recent years, most notably for its use in ApplePay on the iPhone6. Daniel Angel*, Strategy and Commercial Director at Tamoco, discovered an added benefit when he was working on a campaign for AT&T that enabled in-store customers to access free movie tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival in New York with a tap on their phone. Within four days, the 10,000 plus tickets were gone as a result of more than 8000 customer interactions.
Yet there was more to the story: “The epiphany was when we realized that our data could let AT&T know exactly how many of those consumers were getting their tickets on a Verizon, T-Mobile USA or Sprint device”, says Angel. For companies, this offers a new way of measuring the effectiveness of their print advertising. Advertisers can now collect real-time data from printed materials and obtain insight into their customers in ways that were impossible with static print advertising.
For Angel, this is one of the main reasons print and digital advertising play complementary roles at different stages of brand engagement. “Mobile very particularly plays the role of working across all customer touch points as the common connection”, he says. “In addition to being the device that customers use to engage with content or an advert, it is also the same device they are using in store and both for purchase and service online”, he adds.
Of course, NFC is not the first technology that bridges the gap between print and mobile. But the rate in which the consumers engaged with the technology in the BMW that ran in the magazine Der Spiegel Wissen in October 2014 surprised even Angel: “For us it was interesting to see that NFT engagement was three times that of QR despite German consumers being supposedly less familiar with NFC than some other global markets we work in.”
Angel believes there are ample opportunities for the field to evolve. “The ultimate opportunity is to give the customer the best, most relevant experience possible through context and brands that take advantage of this opportunity will benefit disproportionately”. He thinks, however, that mobile technology and the opportunities it provides are not widely understood by consumer brands yet. “We have to enable people to test and learn to get familiar with that,” he says. “The challenge is to think about customer communications in a new light that is no longer about broadcasting to large segments but instead using technology to talk on what feels like a one-to-one level.”
The new technologies have the opportunity to change print advertising profoundly in the next few years. Angel predicts that print ads will be created as a truly integrated experience from the onset. QR codes will no longer link to generic web pages. Instead, the consumer will be able to engage with their personal device, a mobile phone or wearable technology, to discover information that is relevant for them.
For printing businesses, publishers and brands to fully embrace the opportunities that an integrated marketing mix offers, Angel recommends to lead the way rather than take a wait-and-see approach: “As an innovative tech business, you invest to build capability for your customers and then sell it to them, not the other way around.” He challenges businesses to take an active stance: “Don’t sit on the sidelines and watch, the best way to learn is to act and it doesn’t have to mean large budgets or big risks; however, doing nothing is not a risk, it’s a sure-fire way to prove those right who say that print will fade away.”
*Daniel Angel, Strategy and Commercial Director, Tamoco
At Tamoco, Daniel is responsible for relationships with brands, agencies and developers as well as setting the strategic vision. Prior to Tamoco, Daniel was at EE (previously Orange) where he held the roles of Head of Business Development and Head of Mobile Payments during which time he launched Orange Quick Tap, the UK’s first contactless mobile payment service.
Daniel previously worked in Business Development and Product roles in digital publishers including four years with FT.com where he wisely dismissed MoneySupermarket.com as a credible competitor in the personal finance space; he also learned the valuable lesson that when the facts change you change your view and formed a successful partnership with them.
He is passionate about the customer coming first and deploying disruptive digital technologies to fulfill the possibilities of better consumer propositions and greater value for organizations these offer.