Marketing Frequency: How Big Companies Are Using Beacon Technology
Have you heard of beacon technology? If you own an iPhone, you’re probably already using it.
Beacon technology blends physical shopping with online shopping by placing a physical “beacon” (a small, egg-sized device that transmits signals via Bluetooth) in a store, which then pushes notifications to shoppers’ phones. It’s the next big thing in marketing and many corporations are already using it. Check out a few of the best uses of beacon technology.
If you installed iOS7 on your iPhone, you are already using beacon technology. iOS7’s iBeacon technology works with any Apple device to determine your location, and can alert apps when you approach or leave a location, like a store or a bar. Have you given an app permission to track your location? Chances are, that company will be using iBeacon technology soon (if they aren’t already).
Just last month, Target announced that it was introducing beacons and push notifications to 50 stores. When customers download the Target app, they’ll receive deals and purchase recommendations as soon as they enter the store. The more a customer uses the app, the more personalized their experience will be as the app pushes deals to the customer based on their past purchases. To avoid annoying customers, Target is limiting push notifications to two per visit.
At South by Southwest 2015, organizers took networking to a new level by incorporating iBeacon technology into their event app. Those using the app got a comprehensive view of other attendees in their vicinity, and they could even send messages to people they wanted to meet. The beacons also alerted users to bands that were playing at a nearby venue.
Retail’s largest and earliest major beacon rollout came from Macy’s last year, which worked with Apple’s iBeacon technology and the Shopkick app (an app that rewards customers’ store visits and item scans) to introduce beacon technology to the masses. Macy’s installed nearly 4,000 special devices inside nearly 800 stores to push content-rich media to customers, including special offers, product videos and related products.
Beacon technology is also poised to transform the hospitality industry. Starwood Hotels & Resorts recently tested the technology in two of its hotels, allowing guests to sign up for its app to receive a virtual room key on their smartphones to unlock their room’s door with a tap of a button. Hotels are also using beacon technology to help concierge greet guests by name, accelerate the check-in process and let housekeeping know when a guest is in the room.
Been to a ball game recently? The MLB rolled out iBeacon technology last season in 20 of its stadiums. Integrating with MLB’s At The Ballpark app, the beacons allowed for users to collect rewards, receive promotional offers, get maps of the stadium and more.
Nivea used beacon technology in a unique way to promote child safety at the beach while simultaneously promoting its kid-friendly suntan lotion line. The skincare brand installed beacon technology into a magazine ad. The waterproof paper could be cut from the magazine ad and worn as a wristband by children. The wristband could then be synced with an app, allowing beach-going parents to set up a maximum distance their child could wander, alerting them when the child wanders out of the zone.
Have you ever used beacon technology? Leave your comment below!