Beacon technology delivers powerful new measurement tools to Experiential Marketers. It also expands the ways in which consumers can interact with brands, making this emerging location-based technology an important new tool for Brand Marketers.
Only a few years ago the event marketing industry relied on Facebook likes, tablet based surveys and contests, and manual counts to measure traffic to activations. Exciting news: Beacon technology is changing this quickly. What is this technology about? A beacon is small piece of hardware that uses a battery-friendly, low energy Bluetooth connection to transmit messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet. Beacons work with both Android and iOS, and if you have an iPhone, it is likely that beacon technology current resides in your smart phone. Beacon functionality is estimated to already reside on over 300 million smartphone devices making it both accessible and cost effective. Retailers are quickly catching on to this, and are well underway in developing plans to put this exciting new location-based technology to work!
In 2014 Beacon technology was tested by the largest US retailers, and in 2015 it is poised to explode on the scene. Beacons can deliver powerful new measurement and opportunities for Experiential Marketing activations, and much more. Hailed by Business Insider Intelligence as “ The Most Important Retail Technology Since Mobile Credit Card Readers”, let’s take a closer look at this projected growth:
• There will be about 4.5 million active beacons overall by year-end 2018, with 3.5 million of these in use by retailers.
• Half of the top 100 retailers in the U.S. were testing beacons last year, and industry experts expect them to have this new technology installed in one-third of their stores by the end of 2015.
• Beacons are compatible with about one-third of active smartphones globally, and nearly ALL iPhones.
• Only 3% of retailers are currently able to identify customers walking into their stores, but 72% plan to be able to do so within five years.
• Beacons can help retailers attract users to their apps, retain those users, and increase engagement on those apps.
So… Brands who use Event Marketing should be thinking about how to get ahead of the curve as soon as possible. Here are some ways that Experiential and Event Marketing can tap into the power of Beacon Technology:
1. Track the number of consumer interactions and the number of visitors to your booth Beacon technology provides an accurate measurement of how many people attended your event, just walked by and even how long they were engaged at the event. It also provides accurate information on the various types of phones that were used in the event to find demographic insights.
2. Gain valuable consumer engagement insights by installing beacons at various locations within your trade show exhibit or experiential mobile vehicle or live event space Measure the total numbers of visitors in each area, and the relative time spent at each station, to better understand how the public is engaging with your booth and other interactive content in order to fine tune or change elements for improved user experience
3. Link beacons to smartphones and send special unique invitations to visitors to your live event space The invitation enables visitors to unlock interactive content that adds depth to the overall experience.
4. Tap into the uptake in the retail sector, tying an experiential campaign into a loyalty program Use the face to face engagement along with strategically placed beacons and push unique offers to event visitors to create conversions.
Would you like to learn more? Contact www.eventsmarketing.ca at 416-364-9417 x116, and find out how we make this a Beacon Year for your brand!
Some additional reading:
http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/marketing-agencies-association-partner-zone/2015/jan/12/beacons-oculus-rift-experiential-marketing-2015, http://physicalytics.com/, http://www.pinkleopardsoftware.com/, https://www.webtrends.com/