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TEN COMMANDMENTS OF BEACON TECHNOLOGY

29 Sep 2014
Beacon

BY GREG CARLEY & MARC BOUDRIA

1 Thou shalt give a personalized welcome when entering an establishment. But thou shalt be aware of iBeacon placement at the front of retail locations and resist the temptation to have coverage extend beyond the establishment so as not to turn away passersby.

2 Thou shalt deliver “offers of the day” or complimentary offers to recently purchased items on users’ phones when they enter their favorite establishments.

3 In-store guidance and navigation shall be provided based on users’ shopping lists, shopping history, and offers. Remember that smart beacon placement will pay extra dividends by showing traffic flow through a space.

4 Extend thy brand with additional information on products or related interests. Beacons are the segue to larger, more hands-on experiences for they shall allow you to pivot the experience from users’ mobile devices to personalized, interactive experiences.

5 Thou shalt collect quantitative data on customer visits like popular locations, crowd heat maps, location-based promotion redemption rates, and other useful information.

6 Crowd control shall be achieved by monitoring user locations and reacting accordingly with actions like sending new arrivals to different areas or using a heads-up display behind the counter to help sales associates find areas where they may offer more help.

7 Thou shalt control and automate real-world actions like unlocking a door as a user approaches the top step or adjusting the lights as users enter or leave a room.

8 Beacon technology, coupled with iOS accessibility features, shall offer new possibilities for those with impairments. Be thoughtful when implementing as improper application may injure your reputation. Thou shalt reach out to helpful organizations for research and testing.

9 Thou shalt involve audiences in presentations and events by simply pushing notifications to participants’ devices and inviting those using the event app to take part in engaging interactions.

10 Thou shalt recognize that beacons are the holy grail for marketing, wayfinding, and location engagement as they do not require wifi or data connections, can be used in many environments, and are weather resistant and energy efficient, thus providing benefits at a fraction of the cost of other methods.

The common thread is a successful, branded mobile app. Without it, none of these commandments are relevant. However, retrofitting this functionality into an existing app will likely fail. Thoughtful strategy must be applied to both the creative and engineering processes to implement effective beacon technology.
Beacons represent an opportunity to innovate and engage with consumers like never before, but unless it’s done correctly, it’s just another distraction that consumers will ignore. With the right plan of action, creative vision, and technical implementation, brands can engage with consumers on the micro level and achieve massive results.