Nearby was built on Google’s Eddystone protocol which allowed it to deliver beacon notifications to Android users that had Nearby turned on in their settings. But there were more than a couple of problems with this method of running proximity marketing campaigns without an app –
Android users could easily turn off Nearby
Nearby started to get abused by MLMs and hack-it marketers
Nearby Notifications policies were strict and the editorial standards confusing.
Silent notifications made it difficult for businesses to target users
Messages did not always make it to the lock screen. They had to be raised to a notification dependent on the fact if users found it relevant.
And, if you have read our latest blog, you know that we have launched our own solution NearBee for Android as well as iOS.
While every small business does need their own app, NearBee can act as a common app for an entire neighbourhood. A future update of NearBee will also have the app within an app feature allowing NearBee’s in-app colors and content to morph to mimic the business’s unique branding.
However, the reason businesses and marketers flocked to Nearby was the fact they could potentially reach new customers. Although proximity marketing app without an app is no longer possible, there are still a number of clever hacks that you can use to market to new customers.
Clever hacks to run proximity marketing campaigns without an app
1. Beaconstac’s markdown card QR code to target and retarget new customers
Beaconstac’s dashboard has a clever feature associated with every marketing campaign – a QR code.
Businesses can easily download and print that QR code out onto a visually appealing poster accompanied by an equally compelling copy outside their store to entice new customers. On iOS devices running iOS 11 and above, the QR code scanner is an inbuilt feature and does not require an app to run this kind of proximity marketing campaign. Most Android devices also have this native functionality and do not require an app. This does not require the Bluetooth to be enabled on the smartphone.
Targeting new customers through proximity marketing campaigns without an app
When potential customers scan the QR code, they are taken to the markdown card (a Beaconstac creative that acts as a substitute for a website) and can explore your lucrative offer.
Once they land on the markdown card, they can be prompted to download NearBee which will allow you to target them even better in the future.
Retargeting customers on Facebook and Google without an app
Beaconstac’s seamless dashboard also makes it possible to retarget these new customers without an app. All that is required is the Facebook Pixel ID or the Google Conversion ID and you’re good to go. 3 out of 4 customers notice retargeted ads. Retargeting also instills familiarity leading customers to trust your business over others.
2. Outdoor Advertising makes proximity marketing campaigns without an app possible
Out of home advertising has always been a significant channel for businesses and marketers to reach out to potential customers. A digital, dynamic billboard that you can fine-tune in real time allows you to reach a mass audience effectively. You can also choose to run an ad asking them to either scan a QR code to see a markdown card or download NearBee. 81% of Americans use coupons on a daily basis. Adding a copy that effectively conveys to customers the benefits, deals and discounts they can unlock is instrumental in getting this large audience to become part of a hyperlocal contextual experience.
3. Integrating the NearBee SDK in a widely adopted local app
Businesses can also use the NearBee SDK in a radical manner by integrating it into a shopping app that is already widely adopted by the local consumers. Doing so helps the entire neighbourhood of retailers who can now target new and loyal customers. Customers can begin to receive relevant contextual information. Beacons can exponentially improve a customer’s in-store experience.
Proximity marketing through beacons is a market that is on the rise. It is predicted to be worth more than 52 billion USD by 2025. It is also interesting to note that while Google may have pulled the plug on Nearby, they are continuing to send Google beacons to small businesses. While the idea, in theory, was that Nearby allowed proximity marketing campaigns without an app but, in reality, it resulted in a very poor user experience.
With NearBee, we will have anti-spam algorithms in place to discourage the app from being misused. Not to mention, we also intend to introduce a ‘follow’ feature on NearBee that will allow customers to follow businesses and receive updates even when they are no longer in the range of the beacon.
It is also crucial to think out of the box and put beacons to use in more unconventional ways than just offering deals and discounts. Cross-channel promotion, offering product information like its availability and features, enhancing digital signage and augmenting salesperson all chip in when it comes to improves a customer’s in-store experience and a business’s relationship with their customer. Proximity marketing without an app in 2019 may not be practically possible but the possibilities with an app are endless.