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Smart Beacons Change the Marketing Game

on November 08, 2016

Mobile technology is a global force—not simply because it makes our lives easier—but because it connects us. Location-based marketing is a powerful tool for connectivity, and it’s making great strides. It also offers a lesson to businesses on how to leverage such a tool with marketing strategies.

Consider the augmented reality game Pokémon™ GO. It compels players to visit “Pokestops” —real-life locations specially marked within the game. Players receive valuable in-game prizes without having to spend money. Niantic, the game’s creator, has used this to draw people to local landmarks and educational areas. Murals, statues, libraries, and museums have seen waves of traffic from players—30 million daily users in the game’s debut month of July. Just like real estate, technology is seeing the value of location.

Take Advantage of Smart Beacons 

It’s time for businesses to take advantage of location-based marketing and sales. The best way to do that? Smart beacons. These small, low-powered devices transmit signals through smartphone apps. They are compatible with Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi, meaning users don’t even require the internet to access them.

When people are within a designated area, they’ll receive content from the beacon. The content could be anything—from sale notifications to crazy facts—and the proximity can be configured as well. Companies can provide completely unique experiences to their patrons by delivering tailored content. The interactions allow the business to engage customers in a manner that is fun for them while bringing them to a specific location.

Understand Beacons and Data-Gathering

By now, everyone knows the importance of analytics and big data. Purchases, web traffic, favorite games—all of this consumer behavior information can be translated into helpful statistics. Beacons are an incredible tool for putting numbers like this together. Each time a customer interacts with your beacon, you get information. The number of times someone visits, as well as the length of each interaction, can be recorded and compared.

Information like this is invaluable to any marketing strategy—there isn’t much else that can give you such specific information about your target base. Special sales and other services can be tailored for maximum effect with this data.

See Beacons in Action  

Smart beacons aren’t just good in theory. Businesses from retailers to airports have seen success using beacon technology. Businesses are enjoying increased engagement and other benefits with just a few minutes of installation. Find smart beacons in:

  • London’s Heathrow Airport. This trial, run by Virgin Atlantic, provides special offers to premium passengers and information such as on-flight entertainment options.
  • SXSW. This popular film and music festival uses iBeacon to register visitors. There were more than 50 other beacons placed to encourage interaction between the guests.
  • Apple Stores. All 250 U.S. locations are compatible with iBeacon now. The software allows customers (using iOS 7 or later) to check-in when they get close for faster service times and pickups.
  • Grocery stores. Hillshire Brands is selling more sausage than ever by offering location-based coupons. According to their research, customers are 20 times more likely to make a purchase this way.
  • Macy’s. The beacon services in their brick-and-mortar locations let them track customer movements and push relevant recommendations and discounts.

Every day, more and more locations are realizing the possibilities behind smart beacon services. Chances are, your business can benefit, too.


photo credit: TheBetterDay Lr43_L1000321 via photopin (license)