Commentary

Beacons: Closing the Gap on Proximity Marketing

Many in the industry would agree that the Holy Grail of a campaign is in understanding your consumer; where they are, who they are, and when they are most likely to purchase the product at hand. Now, more than ever, it is essential to reach the consumer at the right place and right time, and in a way they are not only comfortable with, but have already integrated into their daily routine. Enter proximity marketing – namely, Bluetooth beacons.

Despite all the recent attention, we still have no idea how big proximity technologies will really be and how much they will change our lives. This is the technology powering the internet of things - the unification of the physical world with the digital world. It is this fusion which creates a new “super power” of sorts – a capacity to create zones of interaction within physical space, putting big data to small tasks. As this space continues to expand and develop rapidly, it too will impact the capabilities, and ultimately the scope of everything within our society. The duality that sometimes the proximity enabled space will help contextualize the smartphone,  and at other times our smartphone will contextualize the space, creates an open-door to what is possible. For beacons, reach (and integration) is currently limitless.

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BLE beacons are the purest form and expression of “Here and Now” media, truly encapsulating the concept that media is everywhere.  By having the ability to be ‘everywhere’ and ‘anytime’ it is important to remember the consumer and their routines and needs - simplicity is key.  As we introduce this technology, the most important thing to nail is the experience. If it is not immediately helpful, revenant, and personalized, it will fail. Things that are deemed “helpful” are not considered invasive.

The principal value in proximity technology is not the nearby deal alerts; it is the larger implications for connectivity with a consumer. It will be in making the world more responsive to needs, wants and goals (and being there in the moment to have a solution on hand).  Beacons are the start of what will be the continuous shift in how media is consumed, and how interactions with the consumer are made.

 

 

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