Before Apple’s iBeacon entered the digital tech scene, geolocation was not quite so sophisticated.
There have been many attempts by brands, some more successful than others, to leverage location-based technologies to drive foot-traffic, influence purchases and promote awareness. Mobile apps like Foursquare, Google Latitude, or Gowalla came on the scene, merging the “offline” and online worlds via “check-ins.”
Today, geo-location-based advertising is a default—whether it’s a deal for a local restaurant in your Facebook feed, or a Groupon Now coupon pushed to your phone based on current real-time location—the majority of geolocation activity has been used for discounting. While it’s a quick win, discounting does not necessarily reinforce long-term business value. Rather, we expect the best implementations of new geo-tech to actually enhance the entire purchase experience—streamlining from product discovery through checkout process and support.
What makes iBeacon more effective? Micro-location functionality, via mobile Bluetooth LE-based technology, enables more relevant and contextual mobile targeting. Micro-location technology can monitor activity within very specific locations or zones, like a grocery aisle.
Another big difference: iBeacon surrenders control to consumers, who must opt-in and download the businesses’ app before receiving messages, eliminating the intrusive aspect of location based marketing.
The technology enables brands to engage in-store shoppers like never before, with real-time, relevant messaging.