Beacons for Marketing

Retail marketing was one of the first uses for beacons when they first became available. Unfortunately there was, and continues to be, a lot of hype and mis-information regarding beacons and marketing. We help you cut through the hype and understand beacons so that you can determine if they are suitable for your organisation's marketing.

Beacons for Marketing

Beacons allow you to send information to your customers' smartphones. They get a notification at the top of their smartphone screen when they go near a beacon. Tapping on the notification takes them to an installed app that can show information in the app or from your web site.

Historical note. 

Google Eddystone-URL previously provided a way for a beacon to send out a web address that allowed detection without an app.
Google announced that Nearby in Android, that detects this type of beacon, has been discontinued. This mechanism should no longer be used.

How Beacon Marketing Works

The app usually uses a server database to convert the beacon Bluetooth advertising data to a message. An iBeacon or Eddystone-UID beacon sends out a unique id. The app converts the received id into a notification or shows the relevant page in the app if the app is already open.

As you need an installed app, marketing using beacons is more successful in situations such as retail stores or visitor spaces that already have their own apps.

Android and iOS allow detection of beacons, in background, when the app isn't running or the screen is off. This allows notifications to be created to alert the user which, when tapped on, take the user to the relevant screen in the app.

For all types of beacon the end user's smartphone needs to have Bluetooth on and Location on. This is less of a problem than it used to be now that more people leave Bluetooth on for use with their car and headphones, and location on for use with maps. Leaving Bluetooth on no longer causes the battery drain it used to with older smartphones.

If You Don't Have Your Own App

There are a number of free 3rd party apps for iOS and Android, for example Beaconstac NearBee (search on the app stores) and the Physical Web Association apps, that look for beacons and send the user to your URL. Also take a look at the Marketing section of our Solutions Directory. We also create iOS and Android apps as part of BeaconZone solutions.

Beyond Location Based Marketing

Think beyond location based marketing to improved cross-selling, customer segmentation analysis, in-store behaviour data, sentiment analysis and placement optimisation. Use beacons in operations to provide performance transparency and labour resource optimisation. Also consider use in the supply chain for improved inventory management and transport optimisation.

More Information

What are Beacons?

Read about Apps

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Tags: marketing, eddystone