iBeacon: Future of mobile engagement

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.

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