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Combining iBeacon Technology with Marketing Automation

Chris Osterhout SVP of Strategy
#Digital Marketing, #Inbound Marketing
Published on October 23, 2015

Learn how iBeacon technology combines the digital with the physical to bring unprecedented intelligence and personalization to online marketing.

iBeacon_plus_Marketing_AutomationIn today’s technology-focused world, marketers have a wide variety of opportunities for interacting with their customers. With the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices, both businesses and consumers are always online, and marketers are learning new and exciting ways to provide value to their customers. One new technology that is especially exciting is iBeacon.

iBeacon is the name for a technology standard designed by Apple which allows mobile apps (running on both iOS and Android devices) to listen for signals from beacons in the physical world and react accordingly.

I attended a meeting today in which representatives from Apple gave demonstrations of the power of iBeacon, but I noticed that they were approaching the technology from a notification perspective, in which a beacon simply was used to send messages to customers’ smartphones when they were nearby. This got me thinking about iBeacon could be used in conjunction with a marketing automation platform (MAP) to provide more value for both marketers and consumers. Here are a few ideas that I thought of:

Greater Customer Intelligence

Your MAP tracks your customers’ online activity, letting you know which products they’ve viewed on your website and whether they’ve read and responded to your email campaigns. By combining this with iBeacon, you can also see whether they’ve looked at your products in a store. Adding this additional intelligence about your customers’ interests and desires will not only let you know more about the success of your campaigns, it can help you provide greater personalization and allow you to better meet people’s needs.

Follow-Up Purchases

For an example of the aforementioned personalization, consider a case in which a customer purchased a pair of pants from your website, and you know that a pair of boots that your company sells will make a perfect accessory to their outfit. If they are walking by the shoe department in a retail store which carries these boots, you could send a notification (or even a coupon) to their phone to nudge them towards that follow-up purchase. This is just one example of how iBeacon technology can provide greater opportunities for marketing.

Digital to In-Store to POS, and Beyond

iBeacon allows for an unprecedented combination of the digital and the physical. The information that you can learn about your customers, such as which products they have looked at both online and in a store, allows you to tailor suggestions to their tastes and meet them wherever they are to show them how you can solve their problems and meet their needs.

iBeacon is already in place in many locations from, professional sports stadiums, to retail stores, to trade show floors. It’s exciting to think about the possibilities that this technology provides to marketers and how we can bring more intelligence and personalization to our efforts to provide customers with the solutions they need. If you want to learn more about how you can implement iBeacon technology into your online marketing efforts, please contact us.