Commentary

The Many Questions Around Beacons

This being Halloween, it brings to mind one scary thought: anyone who deals with mobile customers not, at the very least, experimenting with beacons.

Though I’m not in any way questioning the coming impact of beacons on all aspects of shopping, travel and anything involving mobile location targeting, there are numerous questions on the table.

All of these questions will be addressed Monday, at the MediaPost IoT (Internet of Things) Beacons conference, the first event of its kind. For example:

  • While many retailers dabbled with beacons, Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), which owns Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue, kicked off a large-scale beacon deployment in North America (Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay Go Big on Beacons). How does a large organization move from a beacon trial to a national rollout? I’ll be asking Ryan Craver, Senior Vice President, Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay to outline that strategy. I also expect him to share some news.
  • How does Alex an Ani, one the fastest growing retailers in the world, integrate beacons with its growth strategy? This is one for Ryan Bonifacino, VP Digital at Alex and Ani.
  • Marriott is beaconing to offer local perks at several of its hotels, as I wrote about here recently (Beacons Deliver Local Perks at Marriott). How does Marriott integrate beaconing with its staff training? This one will be tackled by Andrew Haynes, Director, Digital Personalization at Marriott International.
  • How do brands and agencies even decide which beaconing approach to use, since there are so many? This one will be addressed by leading thinkers from agencies BPN, Alcone Marketing Group, Geometry Global, MEC North America and Rosetta.
  • Where is beaconing technology heading? How do beacons get linked together? What do marketers need to know about the technology behind beaconing? These questions will be handled by Leigh Christie, Isobar’s Lead Innovation Engineer.
  • Where’s the money in beacons? What are the main sources of the payback? Robert Poulin, President Havas Discovery, will look for answers from execs from CVS Caremark, Ready Set Rocket, The Media Kitchen, MRY and GMR Marketing.

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These are only some of the questions around beaconing and there are many more. With 30,000 active beacons expected to be in the marketplace by the end of this year, there are new questions almost every day.

What about privacy? How many beaconed messages can a consumer handle before tuning out? How do you get consumers to turn on Bluetooth? What are the best apps strategies for beaconing? Where does beaconing fit with geofencing? You get the idea.

On Monday, we’ll be spending the day with anyone and everyone significantly involved in beaconing.

And collectively, we expect to find some of the answers.

Are you coming to the MediaPost Beacons conference on beacons, Nov. 3 in New York (IoT: Beacons)? If so, bring your questions.

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