Commentary

Beacons & More Deals, Deployments & Announcements

To say there is a lot happening in the world of beacons would be a great understatement.

There are new beacon deployments and announcements almost every day.

While beaconing programs are being rolled out and tested in all types of locations, including stores, museums, libraries and airports, new ways to use beacons are being introduced and announcements about new programs and alliances are being made.

Here are a few examples of new beacon programs:

  • A library in Orlando is using beacons to send location-triggered information, such as library events and offers. The Neue Galerie in New York and Boston Athenaeum are using beacons for visitors as well.
  • The auto industry is testing beacons, with Ford looking at using them at dealerships, so car shoppers can quickly see specific features of a vehicle.
  • Airports in Miami, Dallas, Austin and London have installed beacons to improve passenger experiences, such as providing departure gate information, checking security line wait times and receiving relevant coupons.
  • Arenas of all types are installing beacons, such as the golden State Warriors where attendees can receive special deals as they pass a certain concession stand.

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Businesses also are finding new ways to use beacon-triggered knowledge, such as the SapientNitro approach to use location information to modify in-store screen videos as a shopper approaches, as I wrote about here recently (In-Pocket, Phone Beaconing: Tapping into the Store Shopper).

There also announcements around beaconing with hopes of execution following.

For example, beacon company ShopX announced that it plans to give away for free a million beacons to U.S. retailers, as I wrote about last week (A Million Free Beacons & the Cost of Beaconing).

The company makes its own beacons but says its platform also will work with other beacons, such as those from Gimbal and Estimote. The company said it does not charge for the tools to manage the marketing component of the beacons but plans to make its revenue from the enterprise tools and software it sells.

Another example is from mobile ad platform Opera Mediaworks, which just announced an alliance with four beacon companies (Signal360, Roximity, Pulsate and Pinpoint Mobile). The goal is to help advertisers improve mobile media targeting.

The idea is to use post-beaconing data to power paid media later, Andrew Dubatowka, director of innovation product strategy at the company, told me yesterday. The intent is to enhance ad platform targeting, using customer data that beacon companies presumably would share with the alliance for re-use in advertising sent to specific brand customers.

The obvious questions revolve around what happens after the announcements. In the case of the ShopX beaconing, if retailers sign up, and in the case of Opera Mediaworks, whether the major companies leading beaconing join the group and what data sharing agreements can be reached.

The good news is that there is a lot of beaconing innovation and activity.

Not all of it will ultimately succeed but the market will pick the winners.

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Want more beacon info? Check out the coming MediaPost IoT: Beacons conference agenda for Chicago Feb. 10.

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