Brands, Retailers Moving to Next Phase of Beacons

By now, most marketers and retailers have done a test of beacons and understand how they will dramatically change the landscape of brand, retailer and shopper interactions.

However, most of these tests have been reduced to exploring three basic objectives: Will the branded app be downloaded? Will the signal be strong enough in different parts of the store? What will be a shopper’s response to getting a push message?

Now, with all these questions being answered positively, progressive retailers and brands are moving to what I call Beacon Test 2.0.

Beacon Test 2.0 is where the heavy lifting of shopper marketing starts to take place. In these new tests, targets at scale are being set for performance and ROI return. Prior to the test being conducted, the programs are built with specific analytics so that brands and retailers can see that not only beacons technically work but they are also a cost-efficient marketing tool.

More conventional shopper marketing tactics, whether that be free standing inserts or shelf talkers, were missing this very important information so the retail marketing programs can be budgeted and outcomes can be projected. These metrics are now being better understood as it relates to beacon technology and other geo-locating marketing techniques.

Clearly, we know that beacon messages are more focused on activation/call-to-action than awareness. The specific activation benefit has to be calibrated for various brands and retailers in different use cases. The results of geo-locating and beacon marketing is far exceeding conventional shopper strategies. The ability to highly target different shoppers with custom messages at specific times in the shopper path is proving very powerful.

Now the question is getting to scale. At this point, the audience of people who opt in to the app required for beacon participation does not compare to the reach achieved through print or broadcast media. Hhowever, due to their effectiveness there is no doubt that marketers will continue to use beacons and create programs to grow reach.


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