While beacon technology is still new, it is becoming widely adopted. There is a common misconception that beacons are simply used to send messages (push notifications) to customers when they enter a specific geographical region, but beacon technology is much more than that, and it is becoming a great way for brands to interact with their customers on a more personal and local level. Kevin Hunter of Centroidal Advisory & Consulting talks about how beacons can be used to enhance the customer experience with personalized engagement, loyalty building and driving more customers to your store locations.
Syndicate Location Data Beacons are a great tool for running local marketing campaigns, but many consumers a wary about allowing beacons access to their phones, because of data fraud. In order build trust between your customers and your business, your brand needs to demand better data quality. When consumers have data they can trust, they are more likely to engage with your brand through mobile. This, in turn, allows brands to communicate with their customers at the most relevant and hyperlocal occasions.
Leverage Digital Tactics Last year, ecommerce sales surpassed offline sales on Black Friday for the first time in history. This can be a frightening realization for location-based brands, but it does not have to be the end to offline sales. Smart location marketers will leverage digital tactics such as retargeting and pre-targeting to help drive offline sales and garner engagement at the local level. Beacons provide accurate and consistent location that act as an offline cookie, providing actionable insight into consumer behavior that can help drive store visits.
Utilize Contextual Mobile Marketing Increasingly, customers both expect and demand relevant, contextual-based content and offers. More than 84% of smartphone owners use their devices to help them shop in stores, and beacons provide the technological power to connect with shoppers in the here-and-now. These engagements need to provide value for consumers in order to be welcomed and effective, which means taking into consideration the context of the immediate situation. Millennials already expect this kind of advertising will be quick to dismiss brands who are not meeting their needs in the moment of context.
Create a Mobile-First Ad Budget As the hype over beacon technology begins to fade, a mobile-first world will still remain. Brands can maximize on the mobile revolution by modifying local advertising campaigns and a variety of technologies to focus on a mobile-first strategy. “Choose to get ahead of it through more than just one method or application,” said Hunter. Mobile proximity provides unprecedented opportunity for brands to meet their customers’ expectations through tracking in-store behavior, ensuring location data accuracy and building value-driven ad campaigns, and your brand should.
Demonstrate Differentiation With the multitude of data that mobile proximity can provide, it is important to create a unique brand experience based on each customer’s shopping and buying habits. Brands can differentiate themselves by making customers feel like they are known and recognized; walking into a store or local business should be similar to being reunited with an old friend. Customers will notice brands that provide them with a personalized and unique experience as opposed to being one of the crowd.
Ultimately, brands should look to maximize their audience reach in the correct context. Focus on the majority of data you can measure, rather than the minority. Using first or second party data accuracy is essential. Without accurate data, your brand’s targeting strategy will be a waste of time, and your results will be skewed. Leverage proximity data to predict and increase consumer touchpoints and create targeting and retargeting campaigns to keep your local consumers coming back. Demand transparency and measurement from your brand’s data sources. And finally, remember that consumer experience and trust is critical. Without the trust and consent of your customers, your proximity strategy will be fruitless. Your brand’s first priority should be to keep their data safe and earn their trust through enhanced brand experiences.