Mobile advertising strategies are evolving so fast that it’s hard to master the current trend before the next one arrives. However, mobile is becoming more vital to your brand's success every single day. As consumers become inundated with an ever-increasing amount of spam on their mobile devices, it’s especially important that we make our content applicable. The good news is that iBeacon just might be the marketer’s secret weapon when it comes to providing quality content to the right audience, at the right place, and at a time when it matters most.
By leveraging Bluetooth LE, iBeacons provide location-based advertising to consumers at the exact time that it will have the biggest impact — right at the point of sale. For retailers, placing these beacons around your business, allows you to send push notifications to shoppers’ mobile devices with coupons or advertisements that are specific to what they are actively shopping for. This means you can hyper-target your ads to consumers as they are in the middle of the decision-making process.
Although retail is the industry that will be impacted most clearly by the adaptation of this technology, the possibilities of applying this in other fields are endless. The data provided by beacons will have a profound impact on making day-to-day activities more efficient. Here are a few examples of how you may begin to see iBeacons used:
California is currently experimenting with using iBeacons along the highway to track traffic movement and give better real-time traffic reports.
Hospitals can use beacons to track emergency room patients and learn how to better streamline the time from entering the hospital to receiving care. This technology can even be used to bolster other forms of ads that are already in use, such as billboards or in-store marquees. The beacon gives real-time data on how many people view these ads as well as how long they viewed it.
As with all new technology, there are concerns and potential downsides. The biggest concern is how beacons will impact privacy. Fortunately, iBeacons only emit signals to Bluetooth devices within close proximity and do not receive any information back from the user’s device. This allows the beacon to track data without compromising the privacy of the user. Another potential obstacle is that in order to receive the signals from the beacons, the user needs to have Bluetooth active on their mobile device and must also have a corresponding app that will translate the signal into relevant information.
Even given these potential obstacles, with the explosion of mobile device usage, the introduction of iBeacon is a potential game-changer for marketers everywhere. Savvy brands will keep an eye on this technology and be looking for the right time to jump in the game to avoid getting left on the sidelines.