Tag Archives: digital marketing and technology

What Is a Beacon?

beacon

Simply put, beacons are yet another tool marketers can use to reach consumers via mobile. But it doesn’t stop with marketing. Businesses in industries of all likes are employing beacon technology to work for them. Here are 6 quick applications of beacon technology before we dive deeper:


1. In retail, they can be used to share discounts or coupons with you when you enter the store.

2. They can be used in museums to alert and inform you of the closest display.

3. They can be used by airlines in airports to pull up your mobile boarding pass when you get closer to the gate.

4. Hotels can use them to replace hotel room keys.

5. Stadiums can use them to reach out to their audience and offer them seat upgrades.

6. And in the B2B world, you can expect to see these popping up at trade shows and conferences.

But… what are they?

Beacons, or iBeacon (termed by Apple), simply put, are a class of Bluetooth low energy devices.

 

bigDL-beacon copyHuh? 

A Bluetooth low energy is a wireless personal area network technology that is comparative to Bluetooth Classic, except for that it provides a reduced power consumption and cost, while maintaining a similar communication range.

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Basically, Beacon’s are the enabling technology that will alert an app when you enter a specific, Beacon-activated location.

Many industries can benefit from implementing beacons – however, let’s use retail as an example. In the fall of 2014, Macy’s implemented the retail industry’s largest beacon installation, which allows them to communicate with the shopper via mobile as they enter the store, with personalized department-level deals, discounts, recommendations and rewards.

Alright, what do these things look like?

The beacons themselves are small, Bluetooth transmitters. Apps that are installed on your iPhone listen for the signal sent out by these beacons, and respond when the phone comes into range.

beacons-what-they-are-how-they-work-and-why-apples-ibeacon-technology-is-ahead-of-the-pack copy

Here’s an infographic, courtesy of Gigaom, to help break it down even MORE:

BLE-vs-NFC-infographic[1]


The possibilities are endless. We can make it easy. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you implement beacon technology into your next project!

Death of QR Codes Is Greatly Exaggerated

Have you have fallen prey to the urban myth that QR Codes are dead? There are plenty of designers and industry pundits who think these 2D mobile barcodes clunky and out of date, but if you look at the data, the death of QR Codes couldn’t be farther from the truth. Consumers are actively using QR Codes to get coupons, access detailed product information, watch promotional videos, and take other steps that move them toward a purchase. If you’ve “moved on” from QR Codes, you’re abandoning a critical tool for building your business.

Let’s look at three facts about QR Codes that every marketer should know.

  1. QR Code scanning is on the rise.

According to ExactTarget, 34% of smartphone users in the United States have scanned a QR Code while shopping in-store (ExactTarget Mobile Behavior Report 2014). This rises to 46% of those who own tablets. This doesn’t include people scanning QR Codes on direct mail, posters, in-store displays, packaging, and magazines. In fact, when ExactTarget asked about scanning coupons or QR Codes, it found that 43% of consumers had done so.

Can we quote Mark Twain here? “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” As you watch the data, sure, the growth rate of QR Code adoption is slowing. But that’s not unusual for a maturing technology.

  1. QR Code scanning frequency is on the rise, as well.

In 2014, Scanbuy data showed 4.0 scans per person. In 2015, this rose to 4.3.  That’s growth of 7.5%.

  1. Among the most common uses for QR Codes are accessing coupons, downloading mobile apps, and accessing product information.

ExactTarget found that 56% of men and 39% of women have scanned QR Codes to gain quick access to information. Scanbuy found that when consumers are interested in a new product, 20% will scan a QR Code.

We could go on and on, but you get the point. QR Codes remain a cost-effective way to reach a high percentage of the mobile population. Here’s how to do it right:

  • Make the code highly visible on the direct mailer, in-store signage, packaging, or other channel.
  • Provide instructions on using the code, and perhaps more importantly, the value the consumer will gain from scanning it
  • Offer real, tangible on the back end.

Check out some examples of QR codes in our own clients’ print marketing campaigns.


The future of marketing: Print & digital need to work in tandem

As a marketing agency with an eye on the future, Structural Graphics is always on the lookout for cool ways to extend engagement with our clients products. So when Forbes released a study this week of how consumer goods companies are keeping pace with digital marketing and technology, we devoured it. Now we’re sharing our takeaways with you. Continue reading