Andrew Sinclair-Pearson

iBeacons – do they have a place in a B2B marketplace?

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Apple’s iBeacon technology has been positioned to take location-based marketing to a whole new level. By combining the use of mobile apps and location-based services, companies are now able to target customers based on their precise location in order to increase engagement and drive conversions. However, Apple is not the only player when it comes to beacon technology. Estimote, Swirl, Shopkick and PayPal (to name a few) are also developing beacon technology – and the competition war is hotting up.

As a brief reminder, beacon technology uses Low Energy Bluetooth connections to send location-specific information to smart devices that are running certain apps; enabling the delivery of highly tailored content directly to a customer’s smartphone. Importantly, beacon technology allows precise geo-location targeting, based on the proximity of the smart device to the transmitter – opening up a new era for marketers to target their customers in precisely the right location with relevant and timely content.

For B2B marketers, you may be thinking this all seems like a great opportunity for our B2C counterparts, but I can tell you that the applications for beacon technology go far beyond the retail store. This precise geo-location targeting holds tremendous possibilities in a B2B environment as more businesses look for data-driven, contextual proximity targeting that can be personalised to the needs of the end user.

Let’s look more closely at how beacons could help B2B marketers engage more with their customers and increase conversions.

Events & Exhibitions
Beacon technology allows you to track and analyse the footfall of delegates at an exhibition and even help attract and direct people to specific stands. Using targeted push notifications, beacons can alert delegates of a seminar you are speaking at, and persuade them to partake in a competition you are running. Event organisers are able to analyse delegate flows around the exhibition, share information with exhibitors, and gain insight into which exhibits have been the most popular – all valuable insights for a marketer, don’t you think?

Employee collaboration
For larger organisations, beacons greatly assist internal communications by sharing information between various teams, offices and even countries – preventing people from working in silos. They can also be used to encourage more people to partake in impromptu discussions that take place around common office hubs such as water coolers, kitchens or break-out areas.  A beacon can send alerts to relevant individuals within proximity – bringing people together to inspire thinking, generate ideas and improve collaboration.

Office visitors
Beacon technology could greatly enhance a client’s experience when visiting your offices, for example by sending you alerts via your smart phone when your visitor has entered the building. You might even be able to identify the visitor as they are getting out of their car, so they can be greeted by name by the receptionist, giving your clients a personalised and memorable experience.

There are many other ways we see beacon technology weaving its way into a B2B communications strategy, and we will no doubt see savvy B2B marketers bringing beacons into their physical workplaces early next year and using them to engage more with their internal and external customers.

We’ve explored some of the ways in which B2B marketers can embrace this powerful technology and take location-based content marketing to a whole new level. Download our Ebook: The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Beacon Technology to discover how beacon technology might re-shape the future of location-based targeting.

Free eBook: The B2B Marketer's Guide to Beacon Technology.

Discover how beacon technology might re-shape the future of B2B marketing.

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