Commentary

54% of Mobile Marketers Plan to Beacon

Beacons are going big.

While many retailers, agencies and brands have been experimenting with beacons for many months, the growth of the small transmitting devices into the marketplace continues.

It turns out that almost one in five mobile marketers already are using Apple’s iBeacons, with that number projected to double to more than a third next year, based on a new study.

As context, almost half (49%) of marketers currently use GPS location data, according to the latest Mobile Benchmark Report by Adobe.

The report comprises an analysis of behavioral data based on more than 18 billion visits to U.S. consumer facing websites, 700 million mobile app sessions and surveys of more than 3,000 mobile users in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France and Germany.

The study found that the use of beacon technology is growing, with the majority (54%) of mobile marketers expecting to be beaconing within the next 12 months. Here’s the picture:

  • 18% -- Already using beacons
  • 36% -- Plan to use beacons in next 12 months
  • 17% -- Not sure
  • 28% -- No plans to use beacons in next 12 months

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Within the next three months, there will be 30,000 active beacons in the U.S., with more than three quarters of them in retail stores, based on a forecast by BI Intelligence, as I recently wrote about here (Beacons, Beacons, Everywhere Beacons).

The number of beacons will grow 287% to 5 million beacons within four years, with most of them in use by retailers, according to BI Intelligence.

To say there’s high market interest in beacons would be an understatement, with new beacon news and announcements almost daily.

Apple is updating its beacons in Apple and Disney stores, beacons are now being used for mobile payments and Tesco is using beacons to sell magazines in stores, for example.

And MediaPost has created a conference on beacons, slated for Nov. 3 in New York (IoT: Beacons), which I’m currently programming.

The point is that beacons are going mainstream.

Beacons are being deployed at ballparks and footballs stadiums as well as malls and stores.

Like NFC (near field communications), consumers are unlikely to ever hear the term beacon, though many are likely to experience the impact.

Based on precise targeting due to beacons, mobile shoppers can receive much more value, and we’re not talking about them being bombarded with irrelevant ads as they shop.

Brands, agencies and suppliers are realizing this as they explore and experiment to determine the correct value. Beacons are the new mechanism from which to initiate that value.

Beaconing is well underway. 

6 comments about "54% of Mobile Marketers Plan to Beacon".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, September 12, 2014 at 11:49 a.m.

    On the opposite side of the hype is this article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-28/apples-ibeacon-retail-stores-make-little-use-of-it-so-far

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, September 12, 2014 at 11:55 a.m.

    Yes, am very familiar with that piece, Douglas. (Check the last graf: "Some barriers to iBeacon adoption are falling away") The capability has great promise, IMHO.

  3. Tarik Ozket from Pushmote, September 15, 2014 at 5:46 p.m.

    Great article Chuck, we are developing the Pushmote to make it easier to implement iBeacons in just 3 minutes, don't forget to check it out:
    https://pushmote.com

    Also, event plan is great. Let's talk about it sometime.

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, September 15, 2014 at 7:24 p.m.

    Thanks, Tarik, on both counts.

  5. Krillion by Local from Local Corporation, September 17, 2014 at 1:20 p.m.

    Great piece, Chuck. It’s all about the quality – the more accurate the location data, the more brand marketers can deliver highly relevant and personalized ads and content to consumers. According to the stats you highlighted, the rate of improvement is fast. It again stresses the significance of beacons… interesting to think how the world will unfold when everything becomes so localized that it feels like the technology is “reading our minds.”

  6. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, September 17, 2014 at 1:44 p.m.

    Thank you, and it may appear that way sooner than we think, though the mobile shoppers can shut it off at will.

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