2 ways small business owners can afford beacon marketing

2 ways small business owners can afford beacon marketing

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Beacon marketing has been on my mind lately. And as I was researching the subject, one of the questions I came to ask myself was whether it would be right for small businesses to add it to their marketing arsenal, and critically whether they could afford it in the first place.

For those of you who want to find out more about how the beacon technology works, what it can achieve for your brand and bottom line, and the key caveats to be mindful of, you may want to read my recent post on the key need-to-knows.

As for the answer to my earlier question, the answer is yes. Absolutely.

I would even argue that any business (regardless of its size) with a physical location where to deal directly with its customers should consider beacon marketing – be it a small shop, a medical practice or a café. 

And the most cost-efficient way to benefit from it in my view is to join forces with the nearby shops and businesses on your street or shopping mall, where possible.

After all, who’s to say you can’t replicate the model of the Regent St project or Slyde mobile app in your local high street or shopping centre?

A communal beacon-enabled shopping or loyalty app could give your business the ability to identify your customers nearby, check them in upon entry and reward their visit with personalized offers or other relevant value-adds – all of this for a small percentage of the cost.

One way to go about it is to collectively appoint a specialist mobile developer to develop the strategy, design and build the app for your community of local business owners.

Another potential way to affordable mobile marketing is to approach the management of your shopping centre holding company – that is if they haven’t come to you already.

A lot of shopping centres have their own apps nowadays. It may be that for a reasonable contribution, your business could feature on their app and the app help drive footfall and repeat visits.

Worth noting that at this point in time most of these apps seem to be lacking the beacon technology. However, no doubt it’s only a matter of time before they support it with a number of large retailers already trialling the technology. Trials are bound to accelerate over the next few months.

Personally, as a consumer, I’d love to rid my wallet of the myriad of loyalty cards I carry around – and have my local shops move to the digital age by using my mobile instead to greet me and treat me. What about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and concerns also on the subject.

Cecile is a digital marketing consultant. Passionate about digital marketing, she writes about its development and future direction. You can follow her via email at www.digitalfabriq.com, on LinkedIn or on Twitter at @digitalfabriq.

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  • williape

    It’s worth mentioning an alternative approach for small and big retailers alike.  Though limited to the Apple ecosystem, Apple’s iOS Passbook provides an easy way leverage iBeacon and Geofence triggered digital content.  Passbook does not require an expensive native app and entries can be easily distributed to customers via email, websites or even linked via SMS.  Passbook supports uses cases such as proximity triggered loyalty card presentment, store discounts and events.  There are limitations but anyone with an iOS 7 or later device already has Passbook installed and listening for iBeacons.  

    There is a similar and very new initiative from Google called The Physical Web which allows for app-less proximity interactions. http://www.localz.com/blog/what-the-physical-web-means-to-beacons-and-the-enterprise

    Pete
    http://www.localz.com