Best of Beacons this Week: Google Maps Gets More Ads With Support From Beacons and more
Last Updated:  May 9, 2018
We are back with another issue of ‘Best of Beacons’. This week we’ve got a great lineup of beacon articles in store, right from how Google maps will now use iBeacon technology to support targeted ads, to the top five iBeacon campaigns from 2016 (so far). So sit back, sip a cup of coffee and check out the stories we have lined up for you.
It’s no secret that Google has been experimenting with adding more information and ads to Google Maps in order to convert online searches to in-store purchases. What’s new is that the ‘local search ads’ feature across Google Maps will now use iBeacon technology to support targeted ads and information. Consumers using Google Maps may thus begin to see promoted pins for nearby coffee shops, gas stations or lunch spots along their driving or walking route. Search results in maps will begin to serve prominent ads for nearby businesses.
The way it works is – When consumers type “coffee near me” into the Google Maps app search bar, a business that paid for an ad would appear first in the search results. Now Google will add iBeacon technology, with the ability for ads to serve on the phone based on location and proximity of the user to a specific store and advertiser.
Google estimates that every month, people visit 1.5 billion destinations related to what they searched for on Google, and 30% of searches are related to locations. Thus, while this experiment is still in its nascent stage, we are sure that the integration of iBeacon technology with Google maps will show great results.
While retail is undoubtedly among the top industries to be disrupted by iBeacon technology, other industries are not far behind. Beacons are fast making inroads into all areas of life.
For example, at the start of this horse racing season, Kentucky Derby home Churchill Downs installed more than 1,500 beacons so attendees could easily find their seats, betting windows and concession stands. Thus, in addition to traditional advertising, beacons are also being used to provide services, like unlocking doors at banks and hotel rooms and other useful information based on location, such as airport check-ins. Read this article to know how beacons are disrupting various industries.
As beacons go mainstream, brands and retailers in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market stand to see the biggest lift from beacon programs. That’s because CPG products are typically inexpensive items that are purchased frequently. This allows beacons to gather lots of data on shopping habits and use that data to send personalized, location-based messages. Over the past year, numerous major CPG retailers have rolled out beacons to brick-and-mortar locations, including Rite Aid, Walmart, and Target.
Business insider’s recently released ‘Beacons and CPG’ Report, forecasts the amount of CPG sales that will be triggered by beacons this year, looks at why CPGs are the best market for implementing beacons, and discusses how CPG retailers are currently using them. The report also outlines some of the potential barriers to successful beacon engagement for CPG retailers.
With the total CPG market, including offline and online sales expected to total more than $407 billion by the end of 2016, there is a huge scope for this market. Check out this article to learn about the scope that CPG brands have for targeting customers with beacons.
The objective of iBeacon technology is to engage shoppers and provide them with a new level of in-store personalization and incentives, and keep customers coming back for more.
While major retailers like Macy’s and Hudson’s Bay have rolled out iBeacon technology to all of their stores, other giants like Target and Kohl’s have launched substantial pilots.
And though this technology has tremendous potential in the retail sector, the work involved — on both the retailers’ and the consumers’ part — may be understated.
In fact, a good beacon campaign demands both a strong strategy and the recognition that shoppers, retailers and the industry at large are all at an early stage on the beacon learning curve. Developing a strategy to implement this technology is highly important. The key is careful planning and deployment, effective marketing support, and engaged, professional management on a day-to-day basis. A retail beacon strategy should also include a plan to remind shoppers about beacon-based assistance and rewards. Check out the article to learn more.
Beacon deployments are growing far beyond retail to gain a strong foot holding in some of the most traditional verticals such as banking, property management, real-estate and so on. Various businesses are willing to invest in beacon protocols such as iBeacon and Eddystone.
Some of the best campaigns of 2016 include ‘Citibank’ with its campaign to enable cardless entry into ATM lobbies using beacons, ‘Notify Nearby’ for increasing footfall into brick-and-mortar stores and ‘Schlafly Beer’ for engaging beer drinkers among others.
Other interesting beacon campaigns of 2016 included the use of beacons by Heineken at Coachella and SXSW, for indoor navigation apps in Hong Kong Airport and Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar and for the location of books in Kariru library in Sabae, Japan. Check out the article to know more.
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!