Combining Push Notifications with iBeacons Opens New Doors for Mobile Engagement

To say the industry is excited about iBeacons is an understatement. While the MLB and NFL’s use of iBeacons captured a lot of attention, all sorts of venues are planning or executing iBeacon rollouts to trigger proximity-based customer interactions. If you are thinking about iBeacons, we'd love to talk with you about key considerations and how we can help.

We're doing some pretty cool stuff with iBeacons, including pilots with well-known, large-scale annual events. This will give us a fantastic amount of real-world data regarding audience response to iBeacons and the practical considerations of large-scale deploys. In some cases, we’re already talking about going from pilots to deployment across thousands of locations. The exuberance is palpable.

For businesses, iBeacons cost-effectively open doors to engage customers where it can matter most—both for customers’ experiences and the businesses’ bottom-line. And it’s not just companies with physical locations that are surfacing as prime candidates for using iBeacons. Last week, I was talking to a customer and casually mentioned iBeacons while throwing one out on the table. After their initial shock wore off—John Greene’s homemade beacons sort of look like a detonator—they immediately got excited about using them at a trade show to promote discount subscriptions to magazine titles focused on the same topic as the event.

Another one of our engineers, David Crow, has been experimenting with iBeacons for several months and has a developer utility app in the App Store—iBeacon Manager. David’s been thinking about the potentially larger opportunity of using iBeacons to gain deeper audience and channel intelligence, from analyzing store traffic patterns to shopper frequency and basket size analysis in context of broader, macro-location profiles.

iBeacons are revolutionary in that they offer an inexpensive way to tap into proximity—a powerful, real-time point of context. However, proximity by itself is a weak signal and requires additional context about users, because anything that is perceived as irrelevant or annoying could be the kiss of death for your app. As always, push messaging demands careful consideration and the focus needs to be on customer delight.

To leverage iBeacons most effectively for customer engagement, we recommend that you:

  • Establish the expectation for valuable, relevant messages through your app’s regular push notifications
  • Use individual app preferences and behaviors to tailor beacon-triggered messages
  • Use responses to those messages as additional signals about users’ interests and preferences for ongoing segmentation
  • Build logic and trigger management into iBeacons deployments including frequency caps and timing delays so you don’t over message your audience
  • Leverage dwell times and distances from iBeacons to finesse messaging

If you’d like help planning and executing your own iBeacons deployment, let us know.