Beacons: Opportunities, Limitations & How Marketers Can Use Them Today #SMX

Beacons – every time there’s an article or talk on them, one word comes up: explosion. Forward-thinkers and early adopters are ready for this technology to explode and today’s SMX West 2016 panelists are no exception:

  • Keri Danielski, Vice President of Marketing and PR, Gimbal (@keridanielski)
  • Greg Gifford, Director of Search & Social, DealerOn (@greggifford)
  • Raj Nijjer, VP, Community, Yext (@rajnijjer)
Beacons: Keri, Raj, Greg
Speakers Keri Danielski, Raj Nijjer and Greg Gifford

Beacons in Action in the Automotive Industry

Greg Gifford wants to know if you are spending too much time looking at competitors who are doing cool things? Like, for example, beacons. He wants to help you use them, too.

As soon as beacons were released, auto dealers wanted to jump in – but there was a challenge. Beacons must be tied to mobile apps to wield them. So how do you get consumers to download and use an app? There’s a beacon solution that’s NOT tied to an app: Xone.

Anyone in range of the a beacon gets a message on their phone or watch … but that’s not the best part of a beacon. The real reason beacons are awesome is that location services still work even if their app isn’t on. Whenever they come within range the people are tagged and I can upload those tagged consumers in a custom audience campaign on Facebook. That audience updates automatically in real time. Want to run people who for people who were there a month ago? A year ago? Those automatically update. The goal is to serve RIDICULOUSLY targeted ads. For example, if you were in a car dealership one month ago and didn’t visit the finance department, the dealership can then serve you a Facebook ad reminding you of that car you had your eye on. If you bought a car three years ago, the dealership can now send you an upgrade offer. If you visited the service department, the dealership can deliver a service coupon, etc.

Check out Gifford’s SMX Slideshare here.

Beacons: Opportunities: Limitations and How Marketers Can Use Beacons Today

Proximity beacons and firmware engage users at micro-locations, says Keri Danielski.

Compelling Statistics on Beacons

  • 84 percent of consumers use mobile devices whiles shopping.  You need to use that – mobile devices are a powerful tool.

Understand and Engage Customers

Keep in mind that paths to purchase aren’t typically straight:

Keri SMX West

What is a marketer to do? Enhance the consumer experience.

Context creates superior mobile experiences. This is the beacon world:

Let’s say you’re home and you cross into a geo-fence that’s put inside your favorite retail store. There’s a beacon inside. It gives you a welcome back message or reminder to use your loyalty card or a discount. The experiences is personalized.

Then you head to a coffee shop and a beacon can speak to you, as well. You could pay with the app, avoid the line with the beacon, etc.

Then you pass by a bus stop and the bus stop serves you an ad that corresponds to the ad on the stop.

A massive adoption of beacons is underway, with big names like Apple, GameStop, Frito-Lay and Dick’s Sporting Goods getting on board. Major sports arenas have also largely adopted beacons.

Beacons: Opportunities for Marketers

“Store visits are the new KPI. Beacons allow you not only to track user activity but to bring customers back,” Raj Nijjer explains. “Beacons are the No. 1 in terms of proximity technology and software. They’re usually paired with geo-fencing.”

The retail industry is one of the biggest adopters of beacons, followed by travel, hospitality and airports. One-third of automotive business have tried beacon.

Beacons get people to engage with your products and services and give a blue-tooth enabled consumer an offer. With beacons deployed, you can offer real-time coupons and offers. It distracts the customer a little because they are looking at what you have to offer rather than pulling up an Amazon app and seeing if they have a better price.

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Kristi Kellogg is a journalist, news hound, professional copywriter, and social (media) butterfly. Currently, she is a senior SEO content writer for Conde Nast. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in books such as "Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals" and "The Media Relations Guidebook." Formerly, she was the social media editor at Bruce Clay Inc.

See Kristi's author page for links to connect on social media.

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