Nine-in-ten urban dwellers use smartphones to get directions. In fact, 80% of the urban population makes use of location functionality at restaurants, 67% at shopping malls and 50% at the gym, to name a few. With this extensive adoption, location-based services have naturally taken off. Among numerous existing location marketing solutions, Wi-Fi marketing has been a compelling choice. Wi-Fi has traditionally not been a location-based marketing solution, however, with more and more businesses offering Wi-Fi in their stores, it is no surprise that this technology has become a highly embraced channel for proximity marketing. Now, with the introduction of Bluetooth beacons, there exists a new dimension to location technology and proximity marketing.
In the blog post, we will talk about why beacon technology is a powerful and effective addition to an existing Wi-Fi marketing infrastructure for businesses, and also why Wi-Fi resellers should actively enhance their offering with beacon marketing opportunities.
What is a beacon? How do they work?
Beacons are small devices that transmit signals to Bluetooth-enabled smartphones in targeted proximity. Beacons are like a lighthouse that continuously transmits notifications. In-built services like Nearby on Android phones, continuously scan for beacon signals. Once it detects a signal, it displays the campaign linked to it. Beacons bridge the gap between offline stores and online experiences.
Why is beacon marketing an irresistible opportunity?
1. Beacon technology market is expected to to be worth USD 52.46 Billion by 2022.
Battling the harsh online competition, brick-and-mortar stores are turning towards technology to bridge offline and online experiences. The base year considered for the statistics mentioned above is 2015 and the forecast period is between 2016 and 2022. [Source]
2. Beacons play nice with other in-store technologies to boost campaign effectiveness
Proximity technologies like beacons are transforming the impact of the street facing digital signages, standees, digital out-of-home and even traditional billboards. These technologies do an excellent job of capturing the attention of visitors passing a store or restaurant, however, it is difficult to measure the impact of a digital signage. Beacons add the essential layer of interactivity and data collection for physical stores.
This level of granular targeting is painful to achieve using other proximity technologies like Wi-Fi. This application is not just favourable for retail stores but also at bus stops, sporting arenas and events.
3. Beacons and Wi-Fi are powerful alone, but even better together
Free Wi-Fi is often an appreciated perk in restaurants, cafes or stores. As a result of which, it is a great way of converting customer behaviour into insightful customer data. But Wi-Fi infrastructure alone lacks the granularity and accuracy of Bluetooth beacons. Also, it requires the connection consent of users every time they enter the business area.
Adding beacons to the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure makes the experience more personalized and seamless. Here’s an example of the Orlando airport implementation-
This massive airport had more than 1,000 Wi-Fi access points throughout. Therefore, Wi-Fi marketing was an obvious choice for the airport. They planned to leverage Wi-Fi to find the visitor’s exact location and help her navigate through the airport. However, a pilot run revealed that the location of the visitor detected was 30 to 50 feet off! Post this limited success, the Orlando airport added beacons to the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure. This system made the experience accurate and user-friendly. The visitors could use their smartphones to navigate to boarding counters and luggage on arrival and locate food and beverage stores.
4. Bluetooth beacons are a versatile addition to the marketing offering and add a healthy revenue stream
Marketing agencies are constantly looking to broaden their offerings. The idea is to be relevant for all scales and stages of business. Beacons, yet another proximity marketing technology, have the advantage of low cost, working without an app and a healthy ROI. In addition to the above-stated advantages, beacons are extremely versatile – they can be used to target anything between the proximity of 10 meters (32 feet) to 300 meters (980 feet), and they can be carried around the city. Marketing agencies like Socifi and Viadex are leveraging both these technologies to appeal to a broader client base.
5. Beacons work out-of-the-box: Easy to deploy, up and running in 15 mins!
In addition to the ROI and effectiveness that beacons bring to the table, beacons are as dear as they are because they are ridiculously simple to get started with! Beaconstac beacon is an end-to-end solution – hardware, platform to create and manage campaigns and a powerful analytics engine. To get started with beacon marketing you need to follow just these 3 steps:
- Screw or stick beacons at suitable locations with a 3M tape provided in the package
- Create a campaign you want to broadcast – Drag and drop your way to a polished marketing campaign. With pre-defined templates, editing campaigns is just as simple. You do not need a developer at all.
- Assign these campaigns to beacon hardware to start broadcasting location-based campaigns.
Beaconstac offers two powerful plans for resellers including a white-label option. We offer interesting features like drop shipping, multi-user access and multi-organisation creation for effective reseller experience. To get started learning more from our partner page or schedule a demo here.