The Quiet Rise

Proximity Marketing News (February Edition)

The most intriguing location-based tech stories brought to you as they happen.

The Quiet Rise of Beacons

It’s President’s Day weekend, which for some of us means a blissful three-day respite from the rigors of work; a bonus day to help us manage the doldrums of winter.

To mark the occasion, I decided to take a leisurely drive through the local suburban sprawl — because, let’s face it, nothing shows reverence to our nation’s leaders like some healthy consumerism.

To kick things up a notch I activated my phone’s locations services, and without fail, the push notifications began pouring in. I was quickly alerted to two nearby mattress sales, a furniture “blowout”, a winter clearance, and two ~limited-time~ offers.

Of course, an experience like this is of my own doing: I have an app on my phone that allows geofences to pick up on my location and send me digital coupons to nearby stores. What’s interesting about my experience, however, is the not the existence of location-based push notifications, but the sheer number of them.

Over the last four years, there’s been a technological uprising in the staid world of coupons. Bluetooth beacons first arrived on the scene in 2013 when Apple released the iBeacon specification, and since then a number of players have entered the space and built entire businesses around the bet that these kinds of location-sensing devices will eventually reach ubiquity and change the face of retail marketing.


Six Things Marketers Need to Know About Beacons


Bluetooth ‘beacons’ are a simple way for marketers to communicate with customers in physical locations, but the platforms and infrastructure behind the tiny wireless sensors can be quite complex. Here’s a quick guide to the basics of beacons.

In today’s noisy culture, it’s increasingly difficult for enterprise marketers to reach customers and prospects, much less prompt them to take desired actions. However, this complex challenge appears to have at least one relatively simple solution: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) “beacons.” Also known as “proximity beacons,” the inexpensive devices transmit relevant, targeted messages and information to nearby mobile devices.

Retailers are among the earliest BLE beacon adopters. A beacon-equipped department store could, for example, send special offers on baggage to customers as they enter, proceed through, or linger in the luggage department. Drug store chain Rite Aid recently announced a rollout of proximity beacons in each of its 4,500 U.S. stores


Google Brings The Physical Web To Your Phone


Google plans to make your smartphone a portal to the world around you thanks to a new smart browser.

The company’s next version of Chrome for Android, version 49 (currently in beta), will be able to alert users to low-energy beacons near to them, which can then be interacted with for interesting information or offers.

This means that walking past a tube station will send a pop-up alert about the next departure, or vouchers being sent when walking past a favourite shop, which is all part of what Google is calling ‘The Physical Web’.

The first time a user comes into contact with a beacon they receive a notification through Chrome asking if they want to enable the Physical Web. If activated, users will then see notifications that lists what nearby beacons are available, including URLs to be clicked on to visit a linked webpage.

“As we continue to improve the Physical Web experience, we’re excited to see what types of contextual experiences developers build,” Ani Mohan, one of Google’s ‘Physical Web Voyagers’ wrote. “We encourage anyone to join the conversation on our mailing list and visit the Physical Web cookbook to learn more about what’s possible.”



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