If you’ve been following tech stories, you know that iBeacons are the hot topic. This disruptive technology is still unknown to most and can be hard to understand initially. Never fear, iBeacons (like most of what Apple produces) is quite simple to grasp. Here’s the definition from Wikipedia:
iBeacon is the trademark  for an indoor proximity system that Apple Inc. calls “a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence.” The technology enables a smart phone or other device to perform actions when in close proximity to an iBeacon.
iBeacon uses Bluetooth low energy proximity sensing to transmit a universally unique identifier picked up by a compatible app or operating system. The identifier can then be looked up over the internet to determine the device’s physical location or trigger an action on the device such as a check-in on social media or a push notification.
We’re excited about the opportunities that iBeacons presents for businesses. To help you in your decision to use iBeacon enabled marketing practices, we’ve put together six reasons why we think you should be using iBeacons in your marketing mix.
- Sheer adoption. In five years, the iBeacon/Bluetooth Low Energy Device market is expected to reach 60 million devices. In this article from TechCrunch, the author predicts that retail will in fact be the smallest user of the technology.
- Location based marketing opportunity. The iBeacon technology brings huge opportunities to marketers to increase ROI, build customer loyalty and reduce expenses. Since the messaging is locally targeted and contextual, companies can engage in meaningful, highly personalized ways. If sales are slowing down at a specific time, send a coupon. If you’re having a special event, send a reminder. And most importantly, use data to analyze and adjust your marketing campaigns. But in order to make iBeacons useful, you must employ a mobile marketing platform like Moblico.
- Easier payment methods for consumer and merchant. The iBeacon technology allows for a truly contactless mobile payments solution. iBeacons are low-powered and don’t require terminal readers, which means that retailers don’t have to invest in expensive point of purchase equipment. With a single tap on your screen your payment has been processed. No credit cards, no card reader, no swiping. A truly wallet-less life awaits us.
- Low cost of operation. iBeacons can run off a single standard lithium battery for 1-2 years. Yes, years. Talk about low cost of operation.
- Work on and off the grid. And on that note about low cost of operation, iBeacons don’t need an internet connection– they use Bluetooth. A device with Bluetooth switched on can detect iBeacons in range and pop up a notification or unlock content, even if there is no Internet connection. This is great news for businesses looking to try the technology but don’t want a lot of extra costs.
- Get to know your customer and their preferences. It’s important to understand that just because you get an iBeacon device, it is only made useful by employing smart technology that can utilize the beacons. As stated by CEO of Moblico, Pierre Barbeau, “Beacons help retailers accurately locate the presence of customers within their stores,” he said. “Combined with engagement in-app marketing platforms like Moblico, retailers can identify customers and deliver personalized targeted communications and content relevant to their demographic profile, transaction history and their location within the store.”
In other words, you need a platform to engage one-on-one with customers. Beacons just help you identify presence.
As more businesses begin using the iBeacon technology for marketing, we’ll see some great case studies and use cases emerge. We’re certainly excited about the opportunities the iBeacons technology presents for enhancing a customer’s experience with an app, and we think you should be too.
Have you started using iBeacons in your marketing mix? Tell us about it here!