Beacon technology: from digital service reminders to in-store reward systems, Beacon technology offers the chance to better understand the preferences of your customers.

What are “proximity campaigns”?

He enters the mall. A male voice calls out to him: ‘John Anderton, you could use a Guinnes right about now.’ He walks on while a woman’s voice enticingly whispers: ‘Get away, John Anderton, forget your troubles …’

Do you remember the scene from Spielberg’s ‘Minority Report’ where Tom Cruise as ‘John Anderton’ walks through a mall and billboards show him ads based on his preferences? His mere physical presence triggers so-called proximity campaigns. Now, via Bluetooth-based beacon technology, this depiction of the future has become a reality.

In today’s example, a Beacon located near a point-of-sale interacts with an app on the customer’s smartphone and displays a push notification. Push notifications can be used in a number of ways: they can remind you of digital services, spotlight current offers and reward customers via loyalty programs. But, above all, beacons can help retailers to better understand their customers and build a stronger connection with them.

What do you need to implement a successful beacon-based proximity campaign?

In 2013, Apple was the first to introduce beacon technology, which comprises a Bluetooth based proximity software and low-priced transmitters called Beacons. Beacon technology is crucial for launching proximity campaigns and global players like Microsoft, Google and Facebook are also betting on the technology.

Retail is increasingly interested in low-priced beacon technology, as it promises the potential to: bring online shoppers back into brick-and-mortar shops, boost sales, recognize the buying habits of customers, increase customer loyalty and provide detailed analysis of product placement, thereby allowing employee roles and activities to be optimized. There are no limits to the number of beacon-based business models ideas, focusing on proximity campaigns or multichannel marketing strategies. The future of retail is digital.

The core components of a successful campaign include a beacon-enabled app, beacons, the delivered content and a Proximity Campaign Manager. As a result of digitalization, this position will be a necessity for companies who wish to stay competitive as new technologies emerge. In addition to marketing-, affiliate- and sales managers, a Proximity Campaign Manager will play an important role in developing meaningful proximity campaigns, building physical beacon infrastructures, analyzing the results of various campaigns, as well as optimizing workflows, store processes, marketing performance and budgets.

With the emergence of proximity networks, such as Sensorberg’s, Proximity Campaign Managers will be primarily responsible for booking beacon- and app-capacities together with network partners.

How does a proximity network work?

A proximity network is an interconnected system linking the key success factors in proximity campaigns (apps, beacons, content) and is established through the cooperation of various parties such as location owners, brands, service companies and advertiser.

For Sensorberg, the key element of the proximity network is its cloud-based management platform that is used to plan, create and manage beacon-based proximity campaigns. In addition to the possibility of managing proximity campaigns, Sensorberg’s proximity network enables users to book an individualized infrastructure via app-, beacon –or content-sharing in a secure and stable way.

What are the most important factors for proximity networks to work optimally?

  • Data security
  • Offline capability
  • Flexible hardware options (beacon diagnosticity)
  • Opportunities for use across multiple platforms
  • Support of all beacon-standards
  • Safe management of beacons or apps in the proximity network
  • Cost-efficient use

Use Case #1: You own beacons and content but you need an app

You are the owner of a small store. You want to launch an advertising campaign for a specified time but you do not own an app. No problem! You simply have to search apps that have user base in your area via the Sensorberg Proximity Network. You can reach out to an app-owner who is willing to share their app with others. On the other hand, you have the opportunity to rent your beacons profitably to other users.

Use Case #2: You own an app and content but you need a beacon-infrastructure

You own an online-booking, -shopping, -banking or -service portal but you do not own a physical location. You would like to share information and offers with customers by launching a proximity campaign at the point of interest. In our proximity network, you can use/ book an existing beacon-infrastructure, at places where your target group is located, to deliver your individual campaigns. At the same time, you have the chance to monetize on your app by allowing other to run campaigns through it, though you always retain control of the content.

Use Case #3: You own content but you need an app and beacons

You are a medium-sized magazine publisher who creates valuable content, but you do not own an app to provide sample articles with a direct link to a subscription offer. Or you may own beacons but you are not allowed to install them in public areas because you are not the owner of the area or building. That is not a problem! You simply have to ask beacon locations in the proximity network to share their beacons and apps with you.

Use case #4: You own large-scale locations and an app but you do not need to fill it with content

You own various large-scale locations such as malls, amusement parks, airports, train stations, exhibition grounds, event locations or stadiums. Take the chance to equip your locations with a beacon-infrastructure to share it profitably with the members of the Sensorberg Proximity Network.

Digital innovations will affect all sectors, cutting costs and add value. For this reason companies should start now to think about recruiting a creative, technically versatile administrator, project manager, affiliate- and marketing expert, analyst and consultant, embodied in one person: the Proximity Campaign Manager.