If you’ve ever walked into a store and then received notifications with promotions or other alerts, don’t worry, it wasn’t coincidence or some other supernatural thing wanting you to spend more, it was just so-called proximity marketing kicking in through a beacon. Stay with me to find out what it is and how this technology works.
Beacons are small devices that use the technology Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to send unique signals to tablets and smartphones that are close to it. For simplicity, think of a lighthouse that emits signals that must be received and interpreted by sailors in that area. The beacon works in the same way: it is the sender and the cell phone is the receiver.
Thus, if the customer has bluetooth on and passes through an area where a positioning system or IoT network with beacons are configured, it is very likely that he will receive a notification with promotional actions from that location.
In addition to discount messages, a brand can also use the beacon to provide additional data about a product or even geographic information about a location.
We know, however, that providing a good customer experience is essential and that spam is not cool, but don’t worry. According to Pointr, a company specializing in indoor location technology, these devices can reach up to 70m without obstructions. So, if the user doesn’t like this type of message, just turn off the bluetooth while within that radius.
Once you find out what this technology is and how it works, it’s time to know what the good points are:
- personalized messages: with the beacon, it is possible to send notifications according to the customer’s habit and consumption preferences. This makes him feel special and strengthens the relationship with the brand;
- Low cost: as it is a small device and built with cheaper materials (such as plastic), it ends up being much more affordable than other marketing products or services;
- Easy adoption: its size brings us to another advantage: a quick and easy implementation. In addition, it typically comes with a software development kit and back-end management tools, which will facilitate the integration of the beacon solution and existing applications;
- Wide range: The devices are compatible with most smartphones — which increases the chance of impacting your communication. Users just need to have iOS 7 or Android 4 (or higher versions) on their cell phones.
Disadvantages of the beacon
To know if it makes sense for your business to adopt this technology, it is important that you know some points of attention:
- User Permission: as I said, a person can choose to turn off bluetooth to not receive notifications from your brand. But all is not lost: you can work with customer-facing actions to explain what the beacon is all about and offer a more complete user experience;
- Own application: In most cases, devices only work when paired with an app — and the impact is greatest when it’s your own. As a last resort, however, you can use third-party apps. However, the experience will not be the same.
Despite being very strong in retail and marketing, the beacon can be used by other markets such as hotels, logistics, construction and events. With a well-crafted marketing strategy with the user at the center, the sky is the limit.
With information: Intellectsoft