A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning your Beacon Project
Last Updated:  May 16, 2018
Beacons have been generating buzz from the time they were introduced to the world at WWDC 2013. And while it may have taken businesses a little while to realize that iBeacon technology could be the answer to the increasing demand for contextual experiences – both online and offline, today it’s catching fire.
This year began with Business Insider Intelligence reporting that beacons would be driving $44 billion in retail sales by 2016, up from $4 billion this year. Then in July, Google announced the launch of Eddystone, an open BLE beacon format that takes the ability of beacons to broadcast a unique number via short-range Bluetooth signals – and extends it to a greater degree. And with the holiday season just round the corner, many retail experts are of the opinion that beacons could have a huge impact on sales in the upcoming holiday season, as more and more brands are busy leveraging a more sophisticated use of location-based marketing.
However, while beacons by themselves are relatively simple devices, deploying and managing a number of beacons is anything but easy, especially at scale. This is one of the main reasons why beacon pilots were slow to catch on among businesses across various verticals. We recently published a blog on ‘A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning your Beacon Project’ on Proxbook. It is a definitive guide that lists out a number of best practices that will help you plan your beacon pilots better.
1.Think through an in-detail scenario script of your program
Depending on the venue at which you plan to run a beacon pilot, come up with a complete scenario script. For example, say, you are running a beacon pilot at a stadium. You need to be aware of the the hot-spots in the stadium where the visitors are likely to flock around during the break or even during the match, and plan accordingly.
2. Create a detailed layout map of the venue/store
Next you need to create a detailed layout map of the venue. For example in the case of a retail store, say, you will need to study the dimensions of the rooms, the layout of the shelves, thickness of the walls, the kind of paint on the walls (gloss, flat, semi) etc. Once you have studied the store in detail, you will need to decide on an optimal height (approx. about 4 ft to 7 ft) above the ground and note down the places where your beacons will be able to function without any interference.
The steps ahead
Next you need to zero down on the use cases you plan to implement. A good practice is to pick a simple use case and run a small pilot, with a limited set of people, at say, 3 to 5 locations. Once you have done that. you need to segment your general audience based on certain metrics such as gender, age, number of repeat visits, sections most frequented, loyalty points etc. This way you will be able to use the aforementioned scenarios to come up with relevant and meaningful messages for each identified audience segment.
The next step would be to create a beacon layout map that covers all the areas, all the scenarios and all the needs mentioned in your communication plan. This will include carefully calculating the precise range of action for each beacon.
With that we come to the most important aspect of running a pilot – analyzing your campaign data and learning from it. Also ensure that you ask your volunteers for feedback – what they liked about their beacon experience and what they didn’t. Taking this feedback into account will help you go ahead with your full-blown beacon strategy with confidence.