Commentary

Beacons & Moving into the Nitty-Gritty

It’s good to see that discussions around beacons are moving well beyond the experimenting and trial phases and marketers are starting to learn some of the ins and outs of beaconing.

One of the more interesting questions posed during the MediaPost IoT: Beacons at Internet Week conference yesterday was what unexpected things have brands and agencies found out, now that beacons have been deployed.

The question came during the panel “Sensitivity Training: The All-Sensing World of Beacons and Beyond.”

It turns out that while the larger strategies have been a primary focus, once beacons are used in the field in real life, other lessons are learned. Here are some highlighted by the speakers:

  • “The nitty-gritty operations are the challenges,” said Lisa Bradner, SVP, managing director at Starcom.
  • “The maintenance side was something we underestimated,” said Connor Brady, chief creative officer of Critical Mass. “We had focused on the user experience.”
  • “A lot more trial and error is required,” said Tim Dunn, director, strategy, at Isobar.
  • “We see some people getting kind of annoyed,” said Josh Shabtai, creative director of IPG Media Labs.

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As to the context of where beaconing plays in the grand scheme of marketing, speakers tended to agree that it is yet one more method to be used, a leading edge one at that.

“Beacons are a fantastic sharp edge of the marketing toolkit,” said Dunn, who suggested beaconing at companies should reside within areas responsible for customer relationship management.

Shabtai of IPG had a similar view, suggesting they are yet “another tool to start pinpointing advertising.”

The larger point made in various ways by the speakers is that beaconing is not about the actual beacon but rather about the engagement and location-based interactions a technology such as a beacon can trigger.

And that is a discussion about beaconing.

1 comment about "Beacons & Moving into the Nitty-Gritty".
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  1. Neha Mallik from Mobstac, May 22, 2015 at 8:02 a.m.

    Those are some great insights and really good questions. With all the hype around beacons, what we all tend to miss out is the fact that like every new technology, iBeacon too has its limitations and drawbacks. Also, to make the most of beacons for marketing, a lot of care needs to be taken to ensure that the customer experience is 'engaging' and not 'annoying'. Here are some best practices on using beacons for location-based advertising, that you may like: http://blog.mobstac.com/2015/04/beacons-for-location-based-advertising-engage-your-customers-dont-annoy-them/

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