Beacon shines for marketers in 2016

Next year will be the year of the beacon, according to Location Based Marketing Association president and founder Asif Khan.

In an interview for Sydney-headquartered geo-targetting specialist Yoose, he quotes Business Insider Intelligence predicting that the beacon market will influence $44 billion in sales in 2016, up from $4 billion this year.

Khan says the low cost bluetooth sensor technology will be integrated into physical retargeting: "So far, beacons have mainly been deployed to deliver proximity push messages and collect consumer data. Recent research indicates that the push messages are often delayed and consumer perception to beacons collecting data has been mixed," he says.

Mobile will be blended with bricks and mortar, as the use case for beacons evolves, and they are deployed more and more to blend mobile with the "bricks and mortar" consumer experience.

"Integrating beacons at the right points along the path to purchase can make retargeting more relevant for consumers and more resource-effective for advertisers," he says. "For instance, when most people want to buy a new car, they initially search online at home, then they go on Facebook and get retargeted with a car ad. But the retargeted ad has no idea how far along they are on the path to purchase.

"However, beacons placed in a car dealership could register a mobile device in a store or even in specific car models. Later, the consumer can be retargeted with an ad tailored to a specific brand, model and dealership relevant for their stage on the path to purchase."

Billboards are also set to engage with individual consumers, as sensors start to go mainstream in the out-of-home space. "Beacons on billboards will pick up mobiles in proximity and adapt their content accordingly," Khan says in an interview with Deirde Kirk. "For instance, this could mean a billboard's content changing to match a mobile user's search preferences.

"Beyond that, beacons will allow consumers to interact with out-of-home media content. Billboards can even be gamified so consumers can interact with their content to enrich the consumer experience and drive brand engagement.

"Excitingly, beacons and mobile will build a bridge between online and old bricks and mortar consumer experiences to raise brand awareness, increase engagement, drive in-store traffic and ultimately to activate sales."

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