Commentary

Post-Beaconing Begins; Location Info Captured Now, Used Later

Welcome to the world of post-beaconing.

For many months, beacons have been going to work in the marketplace, at places like large retail stores and sports stadiums.

Those beacons generally have been used to awaken an app in a consumer’s smartphone and, via that app, provide deals, coupons or useful information based on location.

But beacons can be used in other creative ways as marketers tap into the knowledge that the interaction between a beacon and a smartphone provide.

Rather than interacting with a consumer near a beacon in real time, the knowledge that a person was near a specific beacon can be quietly captured and used later for a totally different reason.

This is where what I call post-beaconing comes in. The beaconing activity still occurs in real time but providing the value is saved for later.

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Beintoo, a mobile technology company, is now partnering with beacon-maker Gimbal to do just that.

“Our goal is to create a personalized experience,” Beintoo CEO Antonio Tomarchio told me yesterday.

The idea is to tap into beacon networks to capture specific information about where a consumer has been. That information then would be combined with other consumer data, providing the capability to serve much more relevant ads.

The customer of the Beintoo beacon platform would be an agency, retailer or brand, primarily whoever controls the particular set of beacons.

The beacon-flavored messaging to an opted-in consumer could come much later, hours or even days after a person was near any beacons that were authorized to work with the Beintoo platform.

“It could be a banner ad coming through an ad exchange,” Tomarchio said.

This is the equivalent of mobile cookies, but dropped into a smartphone via beacon triggers.

The location information is captured without the app ever opening.

Only consumers who agree to allow this information to be captured would be served the targeted ads later, said Tomarchio. “We are very obsessed with privacy,” he said.

The beaconed information could be transferred to demand side platforms. “We have to tap into the programmatic ecosystem that already exists,” said Tomarchio. “This is a proximity based audience. It’s more branding related and based on more than location.”

The goal is to closely match advertisers’ content with interests and past shopping behavior, so consumers can be sent content that is contextual with a call to action, according to Tomarchio. Content is personalized to the users, all of whom are identified anonymously.

Post-beaconing has begun.

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