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What Does the iPhone 6 Mean For Printers

As a print service provider, your services help your customers build their business and their client base. To stay competitive, it's vital that you stay ahead of the game, keeping abreast of changing technology that can change the way you do business and the services you offer your customers. That's why you need to know about the new iPhone 6 and its NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, brand new for this iPhone model.

By John Foley, Jr.
Published: October 31, 2014

As a print service provider, your services help your customers build their business and their client base. To stay competitive, it's vital that you stay ahead of the game, keeping abreast of changing technology that can change the way you do business and the services you offer your customers. That's why you need to know about the new iPhone 6 and its NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, brand new for this iPhone model. NFC technology offers your print customers even more opportunities to make use of mobile devices to build stronger and more profitable relationships with their customers, while adding extra value to your print and marketing services.

Now Is the Time to Get Ready For NFC

NFC technology enables communication between two NFC-enabled devices (smartphones or tables), or an NFC device and an NFC chip. NFC chips are small and cost effective to produce, and easy to add to print materials such as mailers or posters in the form of small stickers. For example, an NFC chip in your client's latest brochure could launch a landing page on any NFC-enabled smartphone when the phone is touched against the chip.

NFC is already a feature on the popular Samsung Galaxy 5 and Galaxy Nexus, with the upcoming Blackberry Passport promising NFC technology too. However, Apple hasn't enabled NFC on its perennially popular iPhones until now.

Right now, Apple is focusing its NFC technology on its ApplePay program, turning mobile phones into mobile wallets. While it's true that there is still some uncertainty about whether Apple will open up its NFC technology for general use in the future, educating yourself about NFC and its value to your customers now means that you'll have the answers your customers need when they come to you for advice and you'll be ready for NFC as it grows in popularity.

Consider any work you do in preparation for NFC research and development. R and D is crucial to have built into your annual budget, and helps you to walk before you run. With anything you educate or sell, you must eat your own dog food first, so be sure to put NFC in your 2015 R and D strategy and budget.

Why NFC Matters To Your Business

No matter what Apple does next with the iPhone 6, NFC is becoming more popular and more readily available. As a print services provider, NFC enabled print pieces make for a profitable addition to your repertoire. You'll be helping your customers to grow their businesses, which means increasing your value to them as a print and marketing services provider.

NFC chips are versatile and make it easy for your customers to link their digital and printed content. The chips come as stickers which means any printed material can be NFC enabled. There are many uses for NFC:

  • On printed and promotional materials such as mailers or posters
  • On signs, packaging and labels
  • On business cards
  • On booth materials at conferences

NFC chips can be used to launch apps, landing pages, web pages or social media profiles, to download information and even to make payments.

Why the iPhone Six Matters to Your Business

The iPhone 6 offers much more than its NFC capabilities. The bigger screen (a choice of 4.7 or 5.5 inches depending on the model) and better resolution is good news for both your customers and your business.

Your customers' digital content will look better and brighter than ever when viewed on the iPhone 6. Using NFC takes advantage of that, linking your customers' printed materials with online content that will look brighter and sharper than ever. Now is a great time to encourage your customers to embrace responsive web design so that their NFC tags will link seamlessly to content that looks great on the new iPhone 6 handset. Need a refresher on responsive web sites? Grow Socially created an introductory video explaining the concepts:


That extra clarity works for your website and digital content, too. If you offer a print on demand service, your customers will be able to view their files on a brighter and higher resolution display. The iPhone 6 also boosts faster Wi-Fi connectivity. With a better display and faster performance, your customers will be able to view your website and their accounts more quickly and easily, making it easier for them to check in with you on the go.

Now is the right time to get educated on what the iPhone 6 and NFC can do for your print and marketing services. Check out a video I put together on some fun ways to use NFC:

Founder, President and CEO of interlinkONE since the company’s inception in 1996. John is widely recognized for his visionary approach in designing internet marketing applications that meet the changing needs of marketing services providers, financial institutions, insurance providers, associations, and in-plant printers. He was recently ranked #15 in Forbes Top 50 Most Influential CMO's on Social Media. John can be reached at JohnF@interlinkONE.com or @johnfoleyjr



By Patrick Whelan on Oct 31, 2014

Great insights and info John (as always)! Thanks for sharing.


By John Foley on Oct 31, 2014

Thanks Pat!


By Charles Gehman on Nov 01, 2014

Love you, John, but this technology could not be less accessible to printers if it were on the moon. But heck yeah, everyone should be aware of it as an additional existential threat.

Watching your responsive video and starting to build some web technology? Absolutely, yes! Take some baby steps and then maybe even put some content on the screen of that beautiful new iPhone itself. That would be an awesome accomplishment. Doing "cross-media" with NFC might possibly spring out of having some expertise there.


By John Foley on Nov 04, 2014

Love you too! (It's a love fest ) Hope your well, sure looks it.

Maybe I am not understanding, I don't know what you mean the technology is not accessible? I recommend to printers, mailers and marketing folks to get more involved in R&D with communication tech, like NFC. (And I'm not just talking about the IT folks in these companies, Management needs to understand especially sales) They can go get a kit today from www.buynfctags.com experiment and then at a minimum understand the usefulness or not and understand. When I see rolls of NFC tags that can be easily coded and then place onto any type of printed collateral, labels, postcards, banners, Posters and add direction "Tap your NFC phone here". Why not? If for example the target audience was were 90% of Samsung users why not? Every target audience in marketing campaigns has a plethora of ways to respond - QRCodes, website url's , 1-800 numbers, why not NFC if it is measurable. (Every response mechanism is measurable). "If you can't measure it don't do it!" Above are all response mechanisms, even if the respondent is not on a samsung user with NFC. Next year when Apple hopefully "opens up" their NFC the Service Provider would be in a position to offer creative marketing ideas as solutions to reach the mobile audience. I remember 3 years ago walking through O'Hare and there was a big Poster with NFC on it as a response mechanism - One printer must have gotten it!
My hope in all of this is for the Service provider to become solution / problem solving experts for their customers, not transactional sellers (their days are numbered). Whatever technology and know-how is needed they should play (R&D) and have the right skill set to deliver. And well if they don't have the skill set, who do they call? ME! or You! :) Not Ghost busters on this one. Thanks for engaging! - John aka @johnfoleyjr
Author - Untethered Marketing


By Charles Gehman on Nov 04, 2014

OK, now that's right. They can't do it, and they call us! You got me!


By Peter Muir on Nov 05, 2014

I have to admit, as an educator... watching that back and forth between you two gave me the warm and fuzzies. Thanks for sharing/clarifying John and challenging Chuck! As a new iPhone6 user I too want to explore what NFC means to me as consumer and provider. I liked the Responsive design video too! Gets people thinking about what they could/should do to stay relevant. Thanks for keeping me so.


By Robert Godwin on Nov 06, 2014

Adding NFC, or RFID for that matter, creates a very expensive product. Can a marketing team justify the added expense based on CTR? The analytics will drive adoption if sales bump up based on the campaign using NFC.

Marketing teams with the marketing analysts in tow will be responsible for selling this technology into a campaign. The logistics of having to be so close the chip to make it work may be "stepping on the sale". There is retail research that shows if the customer touches the product on the shelf there is about an 80% chance they will purchase. What value is added by the NFC at that touchpoint? Would it close the 20% gap?

The placement of a NFC chip in a direct mail piece may be of value. The challenge is it would have to move the response rate up (I am guessing) a full point to justify the front end expense of programming, manufacturing and back end support for gathering and fulfilling (landing page, video, etc.) the responses.

Can NFC bump up responses a full 1 %? Did QR codes (which are far less expensive on the front end manufacturing)?


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