May 14, 2012I receive at least a dozen e-mails every week from end users looking to know if there is a tag that can be used in a particular market—for example, in an autoclave or on an oil-drill pipe. Some readers want to know if an interrogator is available that can be mounted on a forklift, or where they can find a high-frequency (HF) reader module that can be utilized within a cabinet. I respond to all of these e-mails, of course, but we're now taking additional steps to help connect buyers and sellers of RFID products.
In February 2012, I wrote about RFID Connect, our social-networking and event-planning site (see A New Resource for End Users). We added a robust product database to enable end users to search for products by typing, for example, "autoclave" or "HF reader module" into the search engine, and I'm pleased to report that end users are taking advantage of the site.
Now, we've introduced a tool for RFID solutions providers to market specific products or solutions to end users. It's a pay-per-click program that allows advertisers to target ads to very specific markets, and it's necessary, because a small company might have a great product but lack the resources to advertise, or a business—large or small—might have a solution for, say, tracking files or tools that it would not need to market to retailers or chemical manufacturers.
Here's how the system works: Each time we edit and post a story, we include a set of terms in the software code that indicate what the story is about. So if we were to publish a story about, say, tracking IT assets or files, we would include those keywords in the software code. Our ad server would then look at those terms, and if an ad matched a keyword, it would show that advertisement. Here's a video demonstrating the concept in more detail: The World's Most Targeted RFID Marketing Tool.
Let's say that a company was selling a blood-tracking solution. We haven't published a lot of articles specifically about tracking blood products, but a hospital or blood-bank executive might visit our site and search for an RFID blood-tracking story, or he or she might search Google and arrive at one of our stories. We would then display that firm's ad for a blood-tracking solution to those reading about tracking blood—and to no one else. If the executive clicked on the ad, then the advertiser would pay for that click. If the person did not click, the advertiser would not pay. It's as simple as that.
I consider this a valuable tool for solutions providers looking to market cost-effectively, and I believe that it will benefit end users reading our articles. Those visiting our site are eager to learn about products and services that can solve their business problems, or help them improve the way they do business. Showing ads to those individuals related to the particular solutions they are researching would be helpful (we do not track readers, so we don't target ads to specific individuals).
Over the next few months, RFID Journal's readers can expect to see more ads related to their interests, and fewer that do not—and that will benefit everyone.
Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor's Note archive or RFID Connect.