Remember that time you went to that marketing seminar and heard about how consumers would visit retail stores and their smart phones would light up with offers and rewards from that retailer? Oh the technology! Well my friend, guess what? It’s happening and it’s called Beacon Marketing Technology.
The technology: A Beacon (also known as iBeacon) is a device that uses radio waves, to communicate with your smart phone’s blue tooth receiver. Compatible with Android and Apple (iOS) devices, the Beacon Marketing technology interacts with your smart phone when you’ve entered their signal’s range and deliver content that the retailer deems important to you. The content can change based on the preferences or settings which were set when you opted into their app. For our developer friends, read all about getting started with Beacon Marketing Technology on Google.
Who will use it: Mainly retailers although the applications are endless. Imagine walking into the AT&T Center to watch your favorite artist and getting the lyrics to the song he/she is debuting at tonight’s performance along with the T-Shirt selection at the merchandise table? Better yet, getting safety information for the venue in case of an emergency or traffic conditions as you exit? Starting to see the big picture?
The Opportunity: We’ve already received solicitations and heard a couple of sales pitches from beacon providers. Their monthly fees per beacon seem to hover around the $200 per month. Add the cost of the application and content creation & management and it’s not at all out of reach of the SMB market segment. As with all marketing technology, early adopters will have to launch educational campaigns but organic growth should help you gain opt-ins as users share their latest deal on social media.
So there you have it…the future is now! Marketing continues to evolve at a neck-breaking speed and it’s easy to get drawn into an “I must have it” or “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. As long as you remember to exercise common sense and place yourself in the shoes of your consumers when trying to figure out what they’d like to experience at your place of business, you’ll do just fine!