At wedoApps we have a great history in developing ideas and providing new technologies for business. We have worked with our partners to offer a great ibeacons solution for the retail, business and leisure industries. Some of the questions we get asked on a daily basis is “What are ibeacons” and “How do they work”? We have a 2 part series to help explain this in the first part of our ibeacon month on the blog.
Can iBeacon’s Transform Proximity Marketing?
Marketing has come a long way.
These days there is a consensus that we are being bombarded with advertisements and marketing materials hence the shift towards more stealth forms of pushing products and services. Indeed, tailoring marketing to the preferences of the consumer and even their exact location has also been prominent in recent years due to the more direct nature and higher acceptance on the part of the customer themselves.
The mobile advertising and marketing sector is expected to grow by 75% this year alone when compared to 2013 and this represents a value well into the billions of pounds.
However, what are iBeacon’s and how is proximity marketing going to shape the coming years? Targeting local customers with relevant products is hardly anything new however how can it be applied in the digital age with apps and software?
What Is iBeacon?
iBeacon as its name suggests is an Apple developed proximity system that connects iOS devices to various services.
Essentially they work off Bluetooth Low Energy-based transmitters that are located in various locations and can push messages, alerts or marketing materials to iOS devices that are in range. Look at it this way: it is technology that works by picking up that you are in range of the transmitter and using this as a way to connect with you.
So say you are in a shopping center. You are browsing around and suddenly you get an alert that a certain store has a 65% off sale. This is because the iBeacon has picked up on your location and that you are using iOS and then marketed to you based on this.
Is Marketing The Only Use?
Aside from trying to sell and product or service, the iBeacon can actually be applied in a very functional and practice way.
Say for instance you work in a company that requires you to clock in and clock out. Well with an app that is compatible with iBeacon it could pick up on your location based on your mobile device and sign you in and out based entirely on this.
Challenges For App Developers
While in theory this technology sounds like a great way to redefine marketing it does raise interesting problems for app developers.
For instance dealing with conflicting signals has been a problem so far. The Bluetooth LE (low-energy) spectrum uses the same band was Wi-Fi and, while not commonplace, can interfere with each other causing messages or alerts to become blocked or delayed. Furthermore, iBeacon’s are not two way devices meaning that they can’t communicate back and forth with an iOS device even though they can send data.
For app developers there is a gap in the market here to develop an app to connect to the backend and update the iBeacon on the user’s location, their preferences and what should be sent. In many ways proximity marketing and iBeacon’s will represent the norm in the coming years.
Their success is based on two variables namely user acceptable and the effectiveness of sending relevant information; get these two right and apps developed specifically with iBeacon’s in mind will be commonplace.