While many brands across various verticals have tried dipping their toes in beacon marketing over the past year, industry experts are of the opinion that beacon marketing is likely to take off in 2015. One of the main factors behind this push is that today marketers have begun to realize that there is more to iBeacon technology than merely delivering coupons and offers.
Consumers today expect their favorite brands to deliver instant services and information based on their own contextual needs. This is where beacons come handy. Under the given circumstances, beacons will soon go from a nice-to-have to a must-have marketing tool that helps retailers perform beyond their consumers’ expectations.
If you are looking to gain insights on how to plan a beacon pilot roadmap or how to plan your pilot budget, you might be interested in checking out our recent webinar on ‘Your Guide to Planning a Successful Beacon Pilot’. It will set you up for success.
So, are you still thinking over how to leverage beacons for your business? Here are 3 tips that will help you present a strong case for beacons, thus rendering the decision a no-brainer for your boss.
1. Accurate Location Can Boost Mobile Conversions By More Than 2X
According to a recent location accuracy report by Thinknear, a mobile ad platform, accurate location targeting was found to result in more than 2X improvement in “conversion lift” when used as part of ad targeting. This study confirms that campaigns involving location consistently outperform campaigns without location targeting or locally relevant ads.
This is where beacons come in handy. Location awareness offered by iBeacon technology allows retailers to be more personalized by sending push notifications based on their precise location within the store. For example, Hillshire brands recently announced that they saw 20 percent increase in purchase intent and 36 percent increase in brand awareness with location based offers using beacons. This was the result of a mobile campaign that ran from April to June 2014 to push American Craft link sausages in the top ten markets in grocery stores within the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The campaign was targeted at consumers who had downloaded one of the apps in inMarket’s network.
2. Online-to-offline metrics are very important to marketers
While, the internet has influenced billions and billions of dollars of local or offline spending, for over a decade, retailers largely ignored it, as it was almost impossible to track digital ads to the offline point of sale (other than coupons), where 90+ percent of transactions take place. However, with the advent of beacons, marketers have started to gain visibility on the expansive landscape of online-to-offline transactions.
Retailers can now link their beacon strategy with the social network profiles of their consumers to get a better picture on the kind of products they tend to like. Once they walk in-store, retailers can then send push offers on the same or similar products. In fact, beacons are even being used to make offline-to-online retargeting more effective. For example, a Norwegian startup Unacast, is planning to do this by using beacons to provide brands with a great opportunity to re-target online ads to consumers based on the actual items they have been looking at in-store. This will enable marketers to better manage and optimise their digital ROI with respect to the offline activity tracked through beacons.
3. Location alone won’t do, brands need to understand the context of the consumers as well
Most location-based advertising techniques are based on the assumption that, knowing a person’s location before sending them an advertisement is that location is a good proxy for context. However, using location to understand context is a much more subtle game than it might appear on first examination. For example, just because someone is near a retail store, doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be in a shopping frame of mind to respond positively to offers. Thus, by pushing the right message but at the wrong time, retailers will risk losing out on potential purchaser forever, as consumers often tend to decline to engage with brands that spend spammy notifications.
To ensure that the push notifications are contextually relevant, retailers can link their beacon strategy to their existing loyalty programme, which can further personalise promotions based on previous purchases or patterns.
Further, retailers can even use electronic signage in-store to display different messages to specific consumers as they pass by. SapientNitro recently introduced passive beacons that tap into the mobile device in a consumer’s pocket and leverage location information along with the loyalty profile of a consumer approaching the screen. Once these beacons have tapped into a consumer’s past behaviours including his or her preferences and needs, they will accordingly personalize content on a nearby in-store screen.
See beacons in action
If you are planning a beacon pilot, take a look at Beaconstac, that includes everything you need to get started. Using Beaconstac you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!