Tuesday February 16, 2021 By Dave
The Marketer’s 5 Step Guide to Beacon Technology

marketers guide to beacon technology

Beacon expertise has fully revolutionized each enterprise and advertising and marketing.

As one article put it, with “Retail going digital and digital media coming to retail,” this expertise is totally altering the advertising and marketing sport.

The important thing to the flexibility of this location-based cellular expertise lies in its measurement and performance.

It depends on small units, usually the scale of a postage stamp, utilizing Bluetooth Low Vitality (BLE) alerts to transmit info to cellular units through cellular apps.

What does this imply for entrepreneurs?

It means this expertise could make your job simpler and make your advertising and marketing efforts way more efficient.


These tiny units are full of strong insights and information. They’re just about a one-stop-shop.

Plus, they take away many hurdles related to conventional advertising and marketing efforts.

All a buyer has to do is obtain one little app and — BOOM!

You may have the flexibility to ship well timed, related, extremely particular info to them at opportune moments.

It takes personalised, dynamic advertising and marketing to a completely new degree.

I’m right here to get you up to the mark on the expertise, its progress, and its potential influence on your online business. Able to get began?

Right here’s a five-step information to getting began with beacon expertise.

Step 1: Study About The Progress of Beacon Expertise

Beacon expertise first gained recognition again in 2013 when Apple unveiled the iBeacon.

Since this launch, Google has created its personal model particular to its person base, which is known as Eddystone — to maintain up with the Joneses, after all.

Retail is the preferred instance of an business that’s quickly adopting beacon expertise.

It doesn’t finish there.

It’s displaying up in virtually each vertical resulting from its versatility.

Whereas the expertise was slower to catch on, studies predict the business will develop by greater than 75 p.c by 2026.

When commenting on beacon expertise, the Harvard Business Review coined it as “the lacking piece in the entire mobile-shopping puzzle.”

In line with one recent report by Markets and Markets, the location-based companies (LBS) market is projected to develop to as a lot as $77.844 billion by 2021.

Proximity.Directory’s Q1 2017 Report additionally famous that beacons are the preferred proximity expertise within the business.

So, now that you understand beacons aren’t going away anytime quickly, let’s transfer on.

Step 2: Perceive The Fundamentals of Beacon Expertise

To understand the advertising and marketing potential of beacons, it’s necessary to know what beacons are and the way they work.

Location-based cellular buyer communication permits companies to speak info in a well timed method through cellular apps to shoppers inside vary of a beacon.

Beacons talk with these cellular apps through BLE alerts, which as I discussed above, stands for “Bluetooth Low Vitality.”

Whereas it might sound like the identical factor, BLE is a variation of the Bluetooth customary and differs from the normal Bluetooth you and I each know in a couple of methods:

  1. BLE makes use of a lot much less energy than Bluetooth.
  2. It continually stays in sleep mode apart from when a connection is made.
  3. Not like Bluetooth, BLE just isn’t made to deal with massive quantities of information.

Take a look at this in-depth chart for clarity on the differences:

beacon technology guide for marketers difference between bluetooth and BLE

To ensure that a beacon to speak through BLE with a person, 4 issues should occur:

  1. The person should obtain an app that helps the expertise.  This often comes within the type of a rewards app reminiscent of Shopkick. Some view this want for motion as a possible hurdle. Nevertheless, an estimated 90 p.c of smartphone customers have a minimum of one subscription to a rewards program.
  2. They will need to have Bluetooth enabled.
  3. Location Companies should be activated.
  4. They should be inside the beacon’s sign vary. This permits the expertise to ping a cellular app inside vary with pertinent info and companies.

Step 3: Perceive The Core Advantages of Beacons

Whereas there’s a wide range of advantages that beacons ship, there are 5 particularly which are value mentioning right here.

1. They Are Versatile

First-generation beacons have been in regards to the measurement of an apple.

Now, beacons are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colours. Some are even UV and water resistant, to allow them to stand up to the out of doors components.

One beacon producer, BlueCats, creates cat-shaped beacons.

Others let companies customise their orders by size, in addition to including their identify and/or logos.

types of beacons marketers guide to beacon technology

Some come within the type of a USB, and others are as small as a postage stamp.

Beacons could be made to suit the wants of virtually any enterprise.

Give it some thought: a beacon the scale of a stamp could be positioned virtually anyplace — like a retail retailer wall, inside a automotive on an auto lot, or within the entryway of your native espresso store — and used for just about something.

2. They Are Safe

One factor that differentiates beacons from comparable applied sciences reminiscent of Wi-Fi, RFIDs, GPS, or NFC is the extent of safety they’ve.

Beacons primarily broadcast outbound alerts, so they’re far much less of a safety threat.

Additionally they ship a singular code that may be learn solely by sure cellular apps.

This code should be authenticated with person permission (AKA together with your information and consent), which suggests it’s a must to manually settle for it.

Technically, beacons with weaker safety may have a better potential for hacking.

The excellent news is most producers have put measures in place to stop this from occurring.

In reality, the chance lies much less in beacons and extra within the apps which are transmitting these alerts.

So so long as you might be utilizing secure apps, you have to be within the clear, and customarily talking, significantly better off when it comes to safety than a public Wi-Fi community.

3. They’re Exact and Have Nice Vary

Maybe the perfect promoting level of beacons is their potential to reliably goal cellular units inside buildings.

Whereas GPS is nice for location monitoring generally, and Wi-Fi comes with all the advantages of cell towers, they aren’t fairly as exact as beacon expertise relating to focusing on shoppers in-store, in particular areas, and in entrance of particular merchandise.

GPS must be used with different location-based companies (LBS) resulting from its line-of-sight points relating to indoor use. It’s significantly better fitted to the outside.

Wi-Fi solely has a variety of about 46 meters when used indoors, and NFC (close to area communication) can solely function properly inside a variety of about 4 centimeters.

Beacons, however, are available in a wide range of ranges and have been particularly designed to work properly each indoors and outside.

They’ll transmit from 1 to 70 meters and as much as 450 meters in some circumstances.

Usually talking, the smaller they’re, the decrease the vary.

4. They’re Environment friendly

Beacons are identified for his or her effectivity.

Proximity.Directory famous in a latest report that producers who use the expertise can reduce prices and enhance effectivity by monitoring materials movement in addition to queue and cycle instances.

The report additionally famous that hospitals can save a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} yearly through the use of beacon expertise.

Beacons are equally as efficient whether or not the companion app is lively or not, as a result of it’s at all times on and continually transmitting a sign.

Different advantages to this expertise embody:

  • It’s cheaper, on common, than conventional Bluetooth or RFIDs — round 60-80 p.c, to be actual.
  • It’s extra power environment friendly than Wi-Fi, GPS, conventional Bluetooth, or NFC.
  • It doesn’t require pairing.
  • It really works precisely indoors, eliminating the necessity for supplemental LBS units.

5. They Supply a Number of Insights

Amongst different issues, beacons can monitor temperature, humidity, weight, visitors, and interactions.

They’re actually info sponges.

With the appropriate analytics in place, you possibly can collect strong user-generated information and perception.

For instance, you possibly can measure the variety of beacon hits over a sure time period.

You may also create warmth maps to measure foot visitors and the size of time spent in a selected space.

Beacons information will also be used to power paid search and social campaigns.

These are simply fundamental examples of the way you as a marketer can use beacons to assemble focused and really particular details about foot visitors.

The probabilities, nevertheless, are infinite.

It actually all simply boils right down to creativity and application.

beacons vs other location based tech the marketers guide to beacons

Step 4: Embrace Superior Advantages of Beacons

Now that you just perceive the foundational advantages, it’s time to dive into a couple of of the extra superior advantages.

Beacons Promote Easy Engagement and Knowledge Transmission

As soon as the cellular app is downloaded, you possibly can push messages to your viewers with out having to leap via hurdles.

This interprets into much less give you the results you want and fewer work for the patron.

Many individuals have voiced considerations in regards to the draw back of a compulsory app obtain.

It is a reliable concern because it may very properly be argued that the common shopper locations a better worth on their cellular machine than they do on the advantages they obtain from a retail cellular app.

To fight this, you’ll must have a well-planned content strategy that features participating multimedia to create a useful expertise that folks will need to be part of.

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) determined to make use of a SnipSnap coupon app to advertise gives and messages to prospects in-store.

At first, it might appear a bit odd to make use of a third-party app.

In actuality, it’s fairly genius.

Right here’s why:

  • It was cheaper than creating their very own app and advertising and marketing it.
  • SnipSnap was established and broadly used. Shoppers have been extra prone to have already got it put in on their cellular units.
  • Their choice helped them purchase new prospects through the in-store beacon program. It was focused towards shoppers who already had the app put in however weren’t present prospects.

So, as you’re evaluating your choices, remember that it might be higher to make use of a longtime third-party app versus creating one by yourself.

By doing this, you’ll side-step pointless hurdles and improve your conversion rates.

marketers guide to beacon technology chart detailing how beacon marketing campaigns influence shopper behavior

Beacons are Dynamic, Extremely Personalised, and Can Enhance Engagment

When you possibly can monitor the place a buyer is, you possibly can promote particular merchandise and knowledge at simply the appropriate time, which may boost engagement considerably.

This will increase the effectiveness of your advertising and marketing efforts and takes “personalised” to a complete new degree.

For instance, let’s say you will have a buyer approaching a jewellery counter at an area division retailer.

With beacon expertise, related content material about sure objects on the market can immediately be despatched to their smartphone through the cellular machine app, which may also help to generate extra leads and drive gross sales.

Beacons Assist Entrepreneurs Adapt to the “New” Purchaser

Maybe one of the vital tough hurdles many entrepreneurs face is determining the “cellular shop-and-compare technique.”

With infinite info obtainable at their fingertips, shoppers are savvier than ever with their buying choices.

I’m not saying that this can be a unhealthy factor, nevertheless.

Fairly the opposite — it’s nice for numerous causes.

Not solely does it shield shoppers by conserving them well-informed, however it additionally facilitates wholesome competitors.

In doing so, it concurrently drives high quality whereas shaping savvier entrepreneurs who carry extra dynamic methods and techniques to the desk.

So that can assist you brainstorm methods through which you should utilize beacons, I’ve listed a handful of examples of how different companies are utilizing them efficiently to drive engagement and gross sales.

Step 5: Perceive the Artistic Methods Companies Use Beacons

Organizations starting from Main League Baseball to Hillshire Farms are all making the most of the wonderful energy of beacons.

Promotions within the type of gives, offers, and giveaways are essentially the most available examples of use that come to thoughts when pondering of beacon expertise.

But it surely doesn’t finish there.

One firm that yielded fairly wonderful outcomes utilizing a unique technique was NOMI.

They measured new prospects acquired via a music festival sponsorship by monitoring check-ins through beacons.

With the assistance of beacon insights, they have been in a position to monitor 1,300 new prospects based mostly on the info offered.

Prism is one other nice instance of how beacons can be used.

They have been in a position to monitor which areas of a retailer prospects gravitated towards through the use of warmth maps generated by beacons.

In consequence, they reassessed merchandising methods and positioned slower shifting merchandise in greater visitors areas to generate extra gross sales.

When Hillshire Manufacturers determined to make use of beacon expertise for the discharge of American Craft hyperlink sausages, the response was over-the-top.

Their company did an evaluation of the occasion and located that purchase intent elevated twenty-fold, and the variety of in-store engagements hit 6,000 within the first 48 hours alone.

beacon technology results for Hillshire

The journey and hospitality industries are embracing the facility of beacons as properly.

Virgin Atlantic used them to remind passengers to have their boarding passes prepared when approaching safety checkpoints and to inform them of leisure specials earlier than boarding.

They even use information to watch cabin temperatures and alert employees to move out blankets when it will get too chilly.

Concierges at Starwood Hotels & Resorts use beacons in order that they will greet visitors by identify upon arrival.

They’re additionally used to inform housekeeping when visitors are of their rooms.

Starwood even lets visitors skip the check-in course of and achieve keyless entry through smartphone to their rooms, which is feasible due to beacons.

All a visitor has to do is obtain an app, then open the door by “tapping or gesturing with their machine as soon as they arrive on the door.”

One other inventive use instance is the courting app Mingleton. The corporate makes use of the expertise to share courting profiles with different customers when inside a sure radius through a “See Who’s Close by” characteristic.

The probabilities really are infinite and lengthen far past conventional push advertising and marketing methods.

These modern and purposeful usages of beacons may also help with branding and higher engage a specific customer base.

the potential of beacons marketers guide to beacon technology

Step 6: Formulate a Beacon Advertising and marketing Technique

There’s no higher time than now to begin strategizing how you should utilize beacons to market your online business.

Now, greater than ever, individuals have a robust desire for dynamic and highly personalized content.

In reality, a examine by Epsilon discovered that 80 percent of consumers usually tend to purchase from manufacturers that provide a customized expertise.

So be proactive, keep on prime of developments, and reap the benefits of the numerous methods through which you can also make it give you the results you want.

To begin, develop a well-thought-out technique.

Very like advertising and marketing generally, you possibly can sort out this process in considered one of two methods.

You’ll be able to wing it.

For a lot of, winging it appears exponentially simpler and a way more efficient use of time.

In spite of everything, time is cash, proper?

The fact is that if you merely “wing it,” you’ll find yourself disorganized and scattered.

The tip outcome?

You’ll waste beneficial time and power attempting to tie every thing collectively.

Otherwise you could be ready.

Savvy digital entrepreneurs are very like savvy writers.

They perceive that planning is the important thing to a fruitful and efficient technique.

Whereas planning takes time and power that might initially be spent on motion, the top result’s measurable, calculated, and fully inside your management.

In case you take the time to plan out your steps to a T, you’ll wind up with efficient outcomes that ship critical ROI.

Right here are some things to remember relating to implementing beacon advertising and marketing methods:

Assume Lengthy-Time period

Beacons could be invaluable instruments for gathering info, analytics, and outreach.

Don’t simply soar towards your finish aim. Take time to strategize and plan for each short-term and long-term achieve.

Assume Contextually

Placement is probably the only most necessary issue relating to beacon expertise.

Strategic placement and well-planned messaging imply a rise in relevancy, timeliness, and effectiveness.

So make sure you get all your geese in a row and assume when it comes to context relating to your advertising and marketing technique.

Assume Like Your Goal Demographic

Put your self of their sneakers. What content material would you need to obtain? What messaging would you discover helpful and efficient?

Avoid aggressive and overzealous techniques.

In any other case, you’ll come throughout as spammy.

Give individuals helpful and fascinating info as a substitute.

Take a look at this video the place I talk about some fast and efficient methods that may assist any marketer generate a strong advertising and marketing plan.


There’s little question that beacon expertise can revolutionize your advertising and marketing technique.

Based mostly on the constructive returns companies like Hillshire Farms and Starwood Accommodations & Resorts are already seeing, I believe it’s secure to say that they aren’t going anyplace anytime quickly.

I’ve given you a step-by-step information to get you caught up on the beacon expertise development.

Let’s assessment:

Step 1:  You perceive how the tech has grown.

Step 2:  You recognize the fundamentals.

Step 3:  You perceive the advantages.

Step 4:  You perceive the extra superior advantages.

Step 5:  You’re up-to-speed with inventive methods different companies are them.

Step 6:  You know the way to create a beacon advertising and marketing technique.

So, the query then stays — are you going to take motion?

The flexibility to diversify and adapt to an ever-evolving local weather is important to your success as a digital marketer within the enterprise world.

By studying how one can harness this development to suit the wants of your distinctive state of affairs, you possibly can stay one step forward of the sport — which suggests you’ll keep one step forward of your competitors.

Are you at present utilizing beacons in your advertising and marketing efforts?  In that case, what’s working for you? What’s not?

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