Contextual Marketing has a lot of potential but majority of businesses have been starving to implement and gain leverage of this technology due to technological and financial barriers. It is natural to think about Google’s AdSense when we talk about contextual marketing. However, with an iPhone in your hands and a booming market of Internet of things (IOT) alongside, contextual marketing has a lot more to offer.
Of all the trending tech within IOT, iBeacon is one of the most potential tools of to help businesses dissolve these technological and financial barriers. Businesses are embracing iBeacons for its simplicity and effectiveness. Let us dig a little deeper and see how iBeacons can next big thing in contextual marketing and why businesses are adopting the technology increasingly.
Effective Contextual Marketing
You may already know about iBeacons. These are small Bluetooth devices that are fixed within specific points within a store and sends small packets of data. A smartphone with an iBeacon app can receive the data within the standard Bluetooth 4.0 range (~70m). The range is what makes iBeacons really special.
Unlike the GPS that goes off the mark by hundreds of meters, or the NFC that makes you almost rub your device with the other one, the iBeacon range is simply perfect. They fit into our standard dimensions of rooms, hallways, malls, museums etc. really well and this is what makes them highly useful.
You can be sure that your advertising message is served when the device comes within the proximity. This makes it absolutely useful for malls and shopping outlets to land buyers at the right place where the product is placed. For hotels, it is a great medium to boost personal experience and increase upsell.
Marriott Hotels have coupled geo-tracking with iBeacons to serve push notifications to visitors and hotel guests with the Marriott Mobile Guest Services app.
Affordable and Easy Adoption
An iBeacon starter pack is really cheap. You can easily buy a set of 3-4 beacon transmitters coupled with access to an app and CMS in less than $100. Setting up the beacons is not that difficult either. Each transmitter comes with a Universally Unique Identifier or UUID. After they are installed, you have to create tags, cards, set rules, and actions. You can go through this post to get a brief idea of the entire process http://blog.beaconstac.com/2015/08/creating-a-beacon-campaign-for-your-cinemas-using-beaconstac/
In other words, this is cheap technology available in a totally ready-to-use form. Even if you are not sure this will work out for you or not, you may order a starter and run a trial. It won’t cost you a fortune.
These factors act as catalysts in dissolving the technical voids or barriers that existed for various industries such as Hospitality and Retail. Irrespective of the fact that you run a Boutique hotel or a chain, the entire installation of iBeacons can be upsized or downsized depending upon your needs and pocket.
Also, the implementation and usage demands an easy learning curve. This is where companies in non-technical industries can hugely benefit from iBeacons and exploit the potential of Contextual Marketing.
If done right, iBeacons can significantly shoot up your sales and help to increase the overall profitability by up-selling of products. iBeacons can also help businesses in bundling of product and services. It is ironic that it is easier for an online retail store to bundle additional products than a brick and mortar store with real goods. However, with iBeacons this problem is effectively solved.
Irrespective of retail stores or Hotels, one can easily orchestrate the marketing messages, leading to more revenues through up-selling, cross-selling or bundling. Businesses have understood that iBeacons possess a huge potential to leverage all these factors at the point of sale.
Businesses want Customized Personalization
Be it relevant app suggestions in the app store or product recommendation on Amazon.com, personalization is calling the shots in the digital world. Businesses want to make sure they surgically cater marketing messages and iBeacons are helping businesses achieve that.
The relevance of customized personalization can be ascertained from the fact that Carrefour, a
French International Retailer registered 600 percent increase in app downloads and usage after they tested proximity marketing using iBeacons. Using knowledge of customers’ proximity, Carrefour welcomed customers individually when they entered the store, suggested products, and displayed coupons based on previous purchases.
Plan future with Big Data
Big Data is turning things around in the digital age. While online stores have an advantage of learning user behavior comprehensively, brick and mortar stores have limited scope to do that. This is where iBeacons can chip in and contribute to the big data inventory. Hotel and Retail Chains can set user behavior parameters for products and analyze the data accordingly to create forecasts, set predictions and come out with effective strategies.
While Big Data finds familiarity mostly with Large Firms, it does not mean that SMEs cannot use iBeacons to understand behavior and create a data inventory. Due to the advent of cloud computing, even medium sized companies can exploit rich forecasting and data representation. Here iBeacons can be used to capture and add data and further make the outcome more substantial. This is a high priority thing for data-intensive companies and iBeacon adoption here makes total sense.
Currently, there are more than 30k active beacons while 60m units are forecasted to be shipped by the end of 2019. Also, in-app engagement is 16 times higher for users who received a beacon message. According to Gartner, high precision location sensing is set to emerge and iBeacons will lead this change from the front.
iBeacons have certainly triggered a lot of anticipation and hope. The possibilities are endless and the rewards are substantial. As entry barriers are fewer, testing the technology is also inviting and won’t hit you hard in case of a failure. No wonders that business are increasingly trying to understand and get a foothold into iBeacons as soon as possible.