This is a comprehensive tutorial on beacon technology, how beacons are changing the new market. An in-depth guide explaining all about the beacon technology available in the Industry 4.0 Market.
What is Beacon?
A business cannot expect to grow and reach target customers without running marketing campaigns. Companies have been implementing unique marketing strategies to draw potential customers’ attention.
And one of such innovative marketing campaigns is done by leveraging the power of the beacon, which is a tiny Bluetooth device. It keeps on broadcasting radio signals to all smartphones nearby. However, a smartphone must have a specific application installed on it to receive the signal.
A beacon transmits signals around every one-tenth of a second. A smartphone spots beacons once it starts receiving a signal. We all know how acquiring customer data is significant to run personalized campaigns and get to know a customer better to serve better.
Beacons play a crucial role in this regard, so a business should use these devices to run effective marketing campaigns. It is not the end of the list of beacon applications. Beacons can even help customers in navigation inside the store.
In other words, beacons broadcast proximity campaigns based on the location of the target customer’s smartphone.
A business can also leverage beacons to acquire customer data based on their behavior. These pieces of information help the brand to design personalized marketing campaigns to boost customer interaction and engagement.
Hence, when it comes to a budget-friendly and easy-to-use device to run personalized marketing campaigns, beacons come as an effective option.
How Do Beacons Work?
Do you want to leverage the power of a beacon-based system? Then, you need a minimum of one beacon device.
Moreover, a mobile application and user’s permission to send campaigns are also required. In short, you need to cater to all the above three conditions to ensure success with a beacon-based system.
Once users enter the area of an IoT network configured with beacons, they receive pop-up messages on their smartphones.
And you already know that a specific application (either branded or third-party) needs to be installed on a user’s smartphone to receive the notification from a beacon-based system.
A beacon-based system comprises an SDK (Software Development Kit), at least a beacon device, and back-end management tools. In short, it is a complex process to configure a beacon-based system. Hence, you need to hire software engineers to get the system configured.
Smartphone configurations to receive notifications from beacon:
Android smartphones must have Android 4 or higher and iOS smartphones need to have an iOS 7 or higher to receive push notifications from the beacon device. The beacon standard in Google is called Eddystone whereas it is known as iBeacon in Apple.
User’s permission is mandatory for a beacon-based system to reach out to their smartphones. Moreover, a user must keep the smartphone’s Bluetooth on to receive push notifications from beacons.
However, what if a user chooses to keep the Bluetooth off? It won’t be possible for a beacon-based system to send personalized campaigns to the user’s smartphone.
So, what can be done to make it right?
A brand can encourage users via sending notifications about the applications and advantages of the beacon-based system. In other words, you should try to convince your users to keep the Bluetooth turned on to get the benefits of a beacon device.
When it comes to buying a beacon device, many options are available in terms of scale and type. That is why you need to be specific about your requirements regarding the applications, size, battery life, and the degree of resistance to external factors. So, are you interested to know about the most popular types of beacons? Let us talk about it now:
These beacons are also known as portable beacons, as they are available in the size of a big sticker. Small beacons are rather handy to carry anywhere to track assets and run proximity marketing campaigns.
When it comes to indoor tracking, standard beacons come as an ideal solution. Have you seen a Wi-Fi router? A standard beacon device comes in the same or smaller size than that of a Wi-Fi router. It can also send proximity marketing messages to the smartphones of potential customers.
Have you ever come across a digital display board in front of a food joint? I am sure you have! These display boards leverage the power of video beacons. A screen is plugged into video beacons to show personalized deals to individual customers. A video beacon is used for digital signage as well.
Are you searching for an easy-to-configure, portable, and small beacon device? Then, USB beacons would serve your purpose. A USB beacon device comes in the same size as a flash drive. It can be used for proximity marketing and asset tracking.
Are you looking to buy the smallest beacon device available? Then, you can consider a sticker beacon that can be used to track assets.
The applications of AI can be seen in almost every field today, and beacons are no exception. AI is based on machine learning, so it can sense various gestures and movements of customers.
Do you want your beacon device to be resistant to external factors, such as UV, water, dust, etc? Then, dedicated beacons make an ideal option for you. You can track indoors and run proximity campaigns even in adverse environmental conditions.
If the size of a beacon device does not matter to you to track other beacons, then consider parent beacons. Except for tracking other beacon devices, a parent beacon can also acquire data to store in the cloud.
Other types of beacon devices may also come to light in upcoming days to help brands better interact with target customers.
The biggest benefit of a beacon-based system is its affordable cost, easy configuration, and scalability. That is why more and more brands have started relying on beacons to run personalized marketing campaigns and expand their business reach.
For example, marketing and retail industries leverage the power of beacons to better interact and engage with potential customers. On the other hand, companies and hotels use beacons to ensure smart room solutions for prospective customers.
So, what are you waiting for? Hire a software engineer having rich experience in beacon-based services. However, you need to have the patience to get the beacon-based service configured if you are running an enterprise or mid-sized business.
Beacon Pros and Cons:
You already know how beacons are useful to grow a business by reaching more and more target customers. It is time to talk about the advantages of beacons in detail:
Easy to Configure:
Did you know beacon devices are easy to configure? Even some types of beacons like USB beacons can be easily installed.
Are you looking for a low-cost beacon device? Then, opt for standard beacons, which are made of plastic. These beacons are more affordable than many other advanced technologies.
Scalable & Reliable:
Since beacons work on Bluetooth technology, their signals cannot be blocked by thick walls or basement areas. And you already know some beacons can withstand external factors as well.
Able to send Personalized Marketing Messages:
Beacons can be used to ensure personalized customer experiences. Leverage the power of beacons, and you can send tailor-made advertisements and notifications to your target audiences.
Most beacon-based systems comprise an SDK or Software Development Kit and back-end development tools. As a result, beacons can be easily integrated with existing applications.
Excellent Compatibility with Smartphones:
Beacons can send personalized notifications to customers having smartphones with iOS 7 and higher or Android 4 or higher. That means beacons can reach out to literally anyone if some conditions are fulfilled (you already know these conditions).
Although beacons offer a long list of benefits, some drawbacks are also there. Let us discuss them now:
User Consent is Mandatory:
You already know having user consent is a must to send personalized marketing messages to target customers.
Moreover, many people prefer to turn off their devices’ Bluetooth to stop the constant flow of notifications.
Therefore, if some of your target customers are already annoyed with a load of day-to-day notifications, they may keep the Bluetooth turned off of their devices.
As a result, you won’t be able to send tailor-made marketing messages to those target customers. In other words, those people won’t be able to get the beacon-based experience of your brand even it is valuable for them.
A Mobile Application is Compulsory:
Do you want to reach out to potential customers via beacon devices? Then, you must have a mobile application ready to be installed on your target customer’s smartphone, as a beacon can work only with a mobile app. That means you can only ensure a personalized beacon-based experience for potential customers who have installed your app.
Top Beacon Manufacturers in the World:
Some of the top beacon-based solution providers in the world include BlueCats, Gelo, BlueSense, BlueSense, Kontakt, Estimote, Sensorberg, Gimbal, and Glimworm.
Beacon Mobile App:
You already know a mobile application is compulsory to leverage the power of a beacon-based system.
In other words, your target customers need to install your beacon application to receive a personalized beacon-based experience.
That is why the first step is to develop a beacon mobile application to send tailor-made marketing ads and messages to potential customers’ smartphones to better engage with them.
You are now familiar with the striking benefits of the Beacon Technology system. Since most customers have smartphones, leveraging the power of beacons is an excellent way to interact with them via personalized ads.
In other words, beacons help a business to keep track of the journey of target customers before finalizing their buying decisions. Moreover, customers’ movements and location inside a retail store can be easily monitored to reach out to them with targeted marketing campaigns.
It is high time to configure a beacon-based system to your store to get an edge over your competitors.