Analysis of Promising Beacon Technology for Consumers

By Marisa Moody
Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications
2015, Vol. 6 No. 1 | pg. 3/3 |

V. Conclusion

Beacon manufacturing and in-store mobile marketing companies continue to target brands and advertisers with their technologies, confident that the budget will soon be allotted by companies. Swirl Networks, an iBeacon marketing platform provider, published a study indicating that 79% of those consumers who received a push notification to their smart device over six months time, made at least one purchase as a result (Charness). With such indicative potential to drive purchases, the industry is confident it won’t be long before beacons are part of our mainstream American life.

Content creation and content marketing are trending among consumers and in high demand within agencies. Beacon technology presents a new channel marketing opportunity with need for great creative content. Further exploration should consider that display and video will be the fastest-growing mobile ad formats, expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 96% and 73%, respectively, between 2013 and 2018 (Hoelzel). It is yet to be discovered how beacons can support video streaming and bandwidth delivery, but given that video is where the ad spend will be, it surely won’t be long before beacon investors find a way to include location-based marketing channels where advertisement money is spent. These companies will also be able to leverage the knowledge that in-app mobile ads perform much better than mobile web ads with click through rates averaging .56% compared to .23%. Beacons present a channel to deliver video in-app, and many individuals don’t think it won’t be long at all before advertisement dollars come knocking at the door.

Once the initial investment is made, it is really up to brand communicators to determine whether shoppers will adapt to “appreciate the service or resent the intrusion” (Brown). The opportunity is there, but it is worth recognizing that the most successful applications were rewarding due to their creative, strategic, noninvasive implementation and mutually beneficial opportunities for the brand and consumer.

“‘People are already comfortable with the idea of a content strategy for social [media],’” said Chad Rodriguez of beacon manufacturer, Sonic Notify. “‘Beacons will simply require a new content strategy for your physical space.’” It’s up to marketers and advertisers to strategically and creatively determine what’s next. For those ready to build that content strategy and invest in this innovative opportunity, it is absolutely crucial to build consumer trust, ensure relevancy and effectively communicate branded utility, especially as the BLE technology and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences come together to change the way consumers navigate stores, make purchasing decisions and digitally engage with brands.


Acknowledgments

The author thanks Dr. George Padgett, associate professor of communications at Elon University, for without his support, encouragement and valuable direction, this paper would not have been published. In addition, thanks to Pete Sena, ECD and founder of Digital Surgeons for the introduction to beacons; thanks to BBDO New York—specifically Daniel Charness, digital strategist and the author’s 2014 summer internship supervisor— for providing a foundation of understanding as to the applications and opportunities; and, lastly, thanks to Asif Khan, president of the Location Based Marketing Association, for coming to BBDO New York this summer and showcasing incredible location-based marketing work being brought to life, inspiring the author’s curiosity.


Endnotes

  1. “Beacon Technology ‘ideal’ to Aviation Industry.” Beacon Technology ‘ideal’ to Aviation Industry. TradeArabia, 11 Mar. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014. <http://www.tradearabia.com/news/TTN_253784.html>.
  2. “Beacon V. IOS 8.” Chain Store Age 90.5 (2014): 11A-13A. Business Source Complete. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
  3. Brousell, Lauren. “5 Things You Need To Know.” Cio (13284045) (2014): 18. Business Source Complete. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
  4. Brown, Mark. “Location, Location, Location.” Canadian Business 87.5/6 (2014): 12-14. Business Source Complete. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
  5. Charness, Daniel, Martinez, David, and Pentel, Zach. (2014). Beacon Technology: What Brands and Marketers Need to Know [BBDO Slideshare]. Retrieved from <http://www.slideshare.net/BBDO/beacon-technology-what-brands-and-marketers-need-to-know>.
  6. Danova, Tony. “BEACONS: The Technology That Could Transform How People Use Their Phones In Stores, Events, And Their Homes.” BI Intelligence. Business Insider, Inc, 20 December 2013. Web. 24 Oct. 2014. <https://www.hollandnet.com/beacons-transformpeople-use-phones-stores-events-homes/>.
  7. Davies, Paul M. “Apple’s iBeacon: Demonstrating that smartphone shopping is not all about making transactions.” Jan. 2014. Mintel. Elon University Belk Library, Elon, NC. 24 Oct. 2014. <http://academic.mintel.com>.
  8. Evans, Michelle. “The Rise of Beacon Technology and Prospects of it Displacing NFC (Part 2).” 1 November. 2013. Euromonitor Interview Series. Elon University Belk Library, Elon, NC. Web. Oct. 2014.
  9. Evans, Michelle. “What Technology Will Power the Future Mobile Wallet?” 20 Feb. 2014. Passport. Elon University Belk Library, Elon, NC. Web. Oct. 2014.
  10. Garcia, Marisa. “Miami International Airport Makes Commitment to Beacon Technology.” Skift. Web. 24 Sept. 2014. <http://skift.com/2014/09/24/miami-internationalairport-makes-commitment-to-beacon-technology/>.
  11. Hoelzel, Mark. “Mobile Advertising Update: Spending Forecasts, Format Trends, and Ad Performance.” BI Intelligence. Business Insider, Inc, 10 October 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014. <https://intelligence.businessinsider.com/mobile-advertising-updatespending-forecasts-programmatic-trends-and-ad-performance-2014-10>.
  12. Hulkower, Billy. “Mobile Phones - US.” Feb. 2014. Mintel. Elon University Belk Library, Elon, NC. 24 Oct. 2014. <http://academic.mintel.com>.
  13. Kharif, Olga. “Why Apple’s Ibeacon Hasn’t Taken Off -- Yet.” Bloomberg Businessweek 4392 (2014): 35-36. Business Source Complete. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
  14. Laird, Kristen. “Follow The Beacon.” Marketing (00253650) (2014): 30-37. Business Source Complete. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
  15. McDermott, John. “WTF Are In-store Beacons?” Digiday, 17 Jan. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014. <http://digiday.com/platforms/unanswered-questions-store-tracking-beacons/>.
  16. Meyer, David. “Philips’ New Intelligent Store Lighting Can Track Shoppers.” Gigaom. 17 Feb. 2014. Web. 2 Nov. 2014.
  17. O’Donnell, Fiona. “Marketing to Sports Fans – US.” July 2014. Mintel. Elon University Belk Library, Elon, NC. 24 Oct. 2014. <http://academic.mintel.com>.
  18. Sender, Tamara. “Driving Mobile Fashion Purchases.” June 2014. Mintel. Elon University Belk Library, Elon, NC. 24 Oct. 2014. <http://academic.mintel.com>.
  19. Smith, Cooper. “THE BEACONS REPORT: Market Forecast For The Most Important Retail Technology Since Mobile Credit Card Readers.” BI Intelligence. Business Insider, Inc, 28 July 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014. <http://intelligence.businessinsider.com/thebeacons-report-exclusive-market-forecast-and-top-strategies-as-retailers-race-toadopt-them-2014-7>.
  20. Thomas, David. “Live On Location: Mobile Marketing.” Marketing (00253650) (2014): 8. Business Source Complete. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
  21. Vizard, Sarah. “If Beacon Technology Is Going To Take Off Retailers Must Target Beyond Location.” Marketing Week (Online Edition) (2014): 2. Business Source Complete. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.

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