Beacons and marketing #ibeacon
Beacons and marketing #ibeacon

I have to admit I like both beacons and marketing! The potential of a disruptive technology led approach to marketing appeals to me.

Have you considered how beacons are being used in marketing? How do you feel about them or are you even aware of beacons? How are beacons becoming a disruptive technology in marketing?

We are now seeing major players testing the potential of Beacons in their marketing and technology strategies.

How marketing with beacons works!

The featured image shows us how comfortable US shoppers are with the idea of beacons and the potential they offer marketers.

Do Google Nearby and Beacons offer a new dynamic for marketing?
Do Google Nearby and Beacons offer a new dynamic for marketing?

The article look at how CVS Pharmacy has become one of the first to test Google’s new Nearby beacon program.

How is this disruption challenging to proprietary beacon marketing? With Nearby:

Instead of communicating solely with a specific retail app, Google’s Nearby beacon platform sends messages to Google Play, the mobile app store on Android devices. This allows retailers to promote their mobile app to increase downloads, as well as encourage a purchase. For example, CVS is using Nearby to tell shoppers that they can send photos for in-store printing to a nearby store within the CVS mobile app.

In his video Marc Wandschneide walks through how Nearby and beacons interact.

It isn’t really very complicated! All of a sudden your proximity to a beacon has become a marketing tool. Perhaps what is more interesting is that Google have made this work with practically any brand of beacon. In fact, Nearby pushes the shopper back to the beacon applications of merchants.

How beacons are disrupting retail marketing

Beacons are starting to seamlessly merge both online and offline shopping. Suddenly there is potential for new forms of marketing both through in-store and near-store marketing campaigns. When customer pass shops and are offered coupons it potentially may lead them to come in and look around. Once inside marketing can be even more precise focusing the shopper on aisles, sections and specific goods. The potential is obvious and big names are starting to market creatively with beacon technologies. On the high-street shops struggle to complete with e-commerce giants like Amazon. But could beacons help save our high-street communities? Can they speed up the sales of customers buying in shops on their mobile devices? Can they be linked to mobile wallets and online accounts? Could beacons encourage you to make more mobile payments?

Beacons and marketing in my research

Beacon for marketing at NHS Events
Beacon for marketing at NHS Events

I am really lucky to be involved in a project that is exploring how emerging and disruptive technologies can be used by business. Beacons are one of my focus technologies and I am always looking for case studies and organisations interested in trying them out. Actually this is not only for marketing but because I think they probably can do more than just push offers and enhance the retail experience. One demo led to a trial of beacons at an NHS event. For this beacons were used to market what was happening at stalls and information points. The demos so far have been pretty basic but now it would be great to push these ideas even further.

E-consumer behaviour and marketing with beacons

Beacons are still new on an academic level. Papers are still considering how people shop online. But beacons bring e-consumer behaviour back into the physical world. The majority of literature has still not considered beacons. Research so far has mainly looked at the functional considerations that influence consumer attitudes towards e-retailers. But these are people shopping from home over the internet. They are still trying to answer question such as how do you influence consumers to shop with the e-retailer and grow this into continuing loyalty? Beacons change e-consumer behaviour!

How would you use beacons in your business? Are you part of an organisation where beacons could improve understanding of your customers? I would really like to hear from you to discuss your ideas.

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