The Microsoft experiences’ 16 salon held in Paris last October 4th and 5th gave Arkadin a golden opportunity to showcase its talents through the presentation of two new connected objects and to underscore the company’s dedication to digital transformation.
Arkadin’s connected objects were developed by a Paris-based marketing team composed of Olivier Zuratas, Demand Generation Manager for Western Europe, and Ludovic Buttiens, Senior Product Marketing Manager for EMEA.
vCards: very intelligent business cards
vCards are digital business cards which activate web content when they come into contact with a smartphone. This content usually consists of the cardholder’s contact information: name, company, address, phone, and email. It works via NFC technology, or “Near Field Communication”. NFC is a set of communication protocols that enables an electronic device (such as a smartphone) to establish communication by bringing it within about 5 cm of an NFC tag. It’s the same technology you might be already using every day with your bus or subway pass.
The Arkadin vCards were distributed to 35 Arkadin VPs and sales executives. With them, they were able to share not only their contact details with salon attendees, but also company-specific information, such as SlideShares, a video, and the company’s entire social network at a glance.
While vCards have become indispensable for rapidly sharing contact information, don’t go throwing away your paper business cards just yet: there are still lots of times when a “real” business card is important to have on hand!
Smart and sticky Arkadin logos
The marketing team also designed stickers with the Arkadin logo on them – and embedded content inside them. There were two sizes of logos: large ones which were affixed to the stand’s wall, and small ones for notebooks or agendas.
By placing their smartphones close to one of these logos, visitors to the stand saw an entry form open up, allowing them to participate in a “Wheel of Fortune” type game. When the wheel spun, a code was generated; if the code was a winning one, prizes of headphones and external mobile chargers were offered.
Where do we go from here?
The vCards and logos that were presented at the Microsoft salon contained content that was specifically designed for that particular use. The truly interesting thing is how these connected objects can be viewed in terms of their evolutionary potential.
For the vCards, one possibility is to embed a link into them and then integrate it into email signatures. This would enable Arkadin to push content to any smartphone that was once in contact with a vCard. This is an innovation with tremendous advantages. It would drive usage as each smartphone owner could receive notifications telling them, for example, “You have a new video available on your Arkadin vCard”. The messages could also include promotions or invitations… just about anything Arkadin wants to share.
The content of the vCards is instantly reprogrammable via the administration’s cloud platform, facilitating even more eventual changes downstream.
As for the stickers, given their ephemeral nature, it’s interesting to consider the possibility of integrating the game that they contain into the vCards so that each vCard owner can play the game over and over. While the prizes offered at the Microsoft salon were headphones and chargers, it’s easy to imagine a different sort of prize: perhaps a service of some sort. Why not a free analysis of the cardholder’s needs in terms of unified communications?