There has always been a challenge, showcasing the effects of digital marketing and its impact on bricks and mortar stores. However, the development of proximity based beacons has started to help bridge the gap as more companies start to embrace the new technology.
What is a beacon?
Commonly referred to as an ‘ibeacon’ or ‘beacon’, this small electronic device broadcasts signals through Bluetooth which can be captured by Bluetooth enabled devices. Some beacons in the market feature extra sensors such as temperature, sound and movement allowing for incredible data to be captured. While they sound quite techy, some companies such as Estimote have developed beacons that are quite fashionable.
So as a digital marketer, why should I be interested in a beacon?
What if I told you that you can send users notifications onto their phones? Or push messages to a TV as people walk past? Sounds cool but pretty basic.
Well, there’s more. What if I told you there’s a way to track store visits? Or for your customers to get the latest coupon code when they are near your store?
Let’s take it a bit further. How about using beacons to create a smooth transition between online shopping and the in-store experience. Why not push notifications to your customers notifying them if their item in their mobile shopping bag is in stock as they walk into your store?
As digital marketers, we strive to enhance the customer experience. This is commonly done by developing personalised experiences using the right data. This data has been available to us through digital means and with the introduction of beacons, we now have the ability to tap into more in-depth data allowing us to push our digital experience into the real world.
How can I get started with beacons?
Relatively speaking, beacons are at their birth stage in the digital marketing world. However if beacons are to follow the same trajectory as the digital marketing industry, we should expect sudden exponential growth and adoption over the next few years. Currently major retailers such as Woolworth’s, Target & Macy’s have already started experimenting with the technology.
You can start experimenting with beacons and its capabilities today. A few companies, such as Estimote (who we use), have released SDK Kits for companies worldwide.
Here at Alpha Digital, we have jumped onto the new technology and have started experimenting in-house with few ideas such as:
- Automatic meeting room booking system
- Customised welcome message to clients on entry to the office
- Micro-location alerts
- Letterbox notification system
Do you have any ideas that you would love to see come to life through beacons? Let us know!