July 22nd – I Work Through an iBeacon Tutorial

I check out the only Swift iBeacon tutorial I could find. Quicktime crashes. I get sad.

Code: https://github.com/robomex/iBeaconTutorial

Tutorial: http://ibeaconmodules.us/blogs/news/14702963-getting-started-developing-ibeacon-apps-with-swift-on-apple-ios-7-8

Song: Arctic Monkeys – Arabella

iBeacon Proximity Location based Marketing

In your next direct mail or other marketing campaign, include a QR code on the mail piece that links to a digital coupon for a special, targeted promotion. Customers simply scan the QR code to get the coupon stored onto his/her phone.
Once the coupon is stored on their phone, a notification appears directly to the customer’s phone reminding them of the offer each time they drive by or are nearby your store.
Retail locations can be sectioned off into any number of distinct sections – each with its own iBeacon transmitter and each transmitter serving up a unique message (or offer) within areas of that location. Learn more at http://www.abodesystems.com/retailers-ibeacon-technology/

iBeacon Technology at one of Europe’s Largest Festival Events

See how this large cultural event successfully used iBeacon technology to enhance visitor experience. 60+ beacons were placed around the 35 acre site, and the multi-lingual iPhone and iPad app was created using the Locly online publishing platform. Visitors to the National Eisteddfod of Wales, used the app to view information that was relevant to what was nearby, such as activity schedules and competition results. They could also discover more information about exhibitors – from artists and performers to businesses and food menus. Notifications was used to welcome visitors and inform them of special offers and the latest news. An excellent, real-world iBeacon case study. Watch this short video to learn more about what’s possible with iBeacon technology and the Locly platform.

Beaconstac Update: Improved Card Creatives & Advanced Analytics

The last two months have been really exciting. We made a few changes to the Beaconstac platform based on the incredibly useful feedback we received from you – our coveted customers. A lot of the feedback we received was along the lines of: ‘how can I engage customers better?’ or ‘how do I know what kind of  marketing messages work best for my business?’. We heard you, and we are here with changes that will make it easier for you to market to your customers! Here are the most significant changes:

1. Improved Card Creatives

Quite a few customers got back to us asking if it was possible to do more with cards. The template available was okay for basic campaigns, where the template itself included ‘title’ and a ‘summary’ section, but for targeted campaigns, they would need more options.

We worked on this feedback so you can be more creative with the cards you create. We now have a Markdown (a simple language used to add formatting to text) enabled template. You can now easily add bold, italics, links, lists, paragraphs, headers, and images to blocks of texts. This is how the console looks like when you add the content for a card:


The notification will look like:


You can add markdown to your cards in the card’s description to create rich, engaging and seamless notifications, like these:



2. Advanced analytics: The new analytics features help you do the following:

a) Analyze both beacon and campaign performance. You can also see how landing pages are distributed among beacons and how different cards are performing over time.


b) Track how notifications convert into views at various places


c) Track notifications received by visitors at various places:

notificationsd) View change in traffic split between cards over time


We will back with more exciting updates from December!


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5 Ways to Measure the Impact of your Proximity Marketing Campaign

Though it’s not quite over yet, 2016 has been one of the best years for the proximity marketing industry till date. While year 2015 saw brands hold discussions around beacons, geofencing and other location-aware infrastructure, this year saw brands come forward and discuss tips around developing a beacon-enabled app, the promises that Eddystone holds in the world of proximity marketing and insights into successful beacon deployments. According to a recent forecast by Research and Markets, proximity marketing market is expected to be worth USD 52.46 Billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 29.8% between 2016 and 2022.

Proximity marketing industry is expected to be worth $ 52.46 Billion by 2022
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With the industry progressing at such a great pace, it is highly critical for brands to measure the impact of their proximity marketing campaigns. While most businesses continue to stick by traditional methods that primarily revolve around metrics such as foot traffic,click rates and impressions, it is important to note that these metrics don’t provide insights on ROI in terms of customers acquired and products sold.

Therefore, in order to come up with new and more concrete ways of measuring the impact of proximity campaigns, it is important that we start looking at them in a different light. In other words, you need to keep an account of the impact that the campaign has had on consumer engagement, revenue and consumer retention in order to measure the value of proximity marketing efforts. To give you a better idea, here are a few questions that you need to ask yourselves:

a) Did this campaign help you drive long-term consumer engagement?

b) Did you end up turning off your customers or users?

c) Were you able to convert your users into customers? If so how many of them did you convert?

d) Did this campaign help you drive consumer spend over time?

Summing it up, one of the most effective analysis techniques that can help marketers track down measureable ROI is called ‘Sales Lift Analysis’. Here are 5 ways in which you can put this technique to use:

5 ways brands can measure the effectiveness of a proximity campaign
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1) Define the criteria that you plan to follow to measure sales lift

Few of the basic metrics that most businesses follow to measure lift percentage over time include impressions, units sold and revenue generated. One important thing to note here is that when it comes to timing, the more granular you are about it, the more effective your proximity marketing campaigns will be. For example, being able to identify the days of the week and time of those days that drive the most purchases will help you maximize your campaign ROI.

2) Setup test and control stores to measure impact on buyer behaviour

Let’s say you have a total of four stores or branches selling the same items. You can deploy beacons and run proximity marketing campaigns at say two of these stores (test stores). At the same time, you can use the remaining two stores (control stores) to enable you to make comparison of analytics metrics in order to measure impact on buyer behaviour. Few of the conditions that you need to consider while choosing the locations of test and control stores include population density, weather, demographics, seasonality and economics. This way you will be able to directly compare consumer engagement, revenue and consumer retention at the two sets of stores with ease.

Why it is critical for brands to setup test & control stores while running proximity campaigns
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3) Use historical sales data as a benchmark to measure the effectiveness of the campaign

This method totally depends on whether you are trying to leverage beacons to sell an existing product or a new one. For example, if it’s an existing product, you can just take note of the timeframe, geography and stores where it has been available in the past. This can then be used to capture the historical unit and sales revenue data that can be used as a benchmark or baseline to measure the effectiveness of your proximity marketing campaign. On the other hand, if it’s a new product, you can compare the unit and sales revenue data across stores in various regions.

4) Track products to identify trends in product sales

Let’s say, you are promoting a brand with several individual sub-brands and specific UPCs (Universal Product Codes). Tracking products down to the UPC level will help you identify how specific products drive customers to purchase other items in combination, resulting in additional sales. For example, say you are a CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) brand and you recently introduced 4 new flavour of fruit drinks. You can employ beacons and work alongside an Ad-tech partner to determine which of the new flavors are doing better compared to the others. Adding on to that, you can also employ sales lift analysis to measure the impact of that campaign on the overall sales of the CPG brand.  

How tracking down products will help brands identify trends in product sales
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5) Assess campaigns in real-time and gain access to crucial metrics

Sales lift analysis can be used by marketers to assess campaigns in real-time and make quick adjustments that could in turn drive revenue and greater customer retention. Adding on to that, it can also help reduce overall costs as you turn campaigns on or off, thereby providing you greater control over things like ad spend. You can also use this analysis technique to garner knowledge on the kind of messages and techniques that command highest engagement and sales conversion rates with respect to specific customer segments across various regions and time frames.

Thus, putting the sales lift analysis technique to practise will not only make you a smarter marketer but also help you deliver on the expectations of your proximity marketing campaigns.

If you are planning an Eddystone beacon pilot, take a look at Beaconstac, that includes everything you need to kickstart your campaign in under 15 minutes. Using Beaconstac you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!


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Top 3 Ways Brands Will Use Beacons in 2017

That beacons and other indoor location services have gone mainstream is no news at all. According to a recent survey conducted by research firm Vanson Bourne, 38% of all global respondents currently use indoor positioning. At the same time 43% of US respondents have already initiated an indoor proximity program, followed by the UK and Asia (both at 33% each). 

43% of US respondents have already initiated an indoor proximity program in 2016
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One other thing that is worth taking note of here is that, over the span of 2016, a number of brands including Neiman Marcus expanded their respective use of beacons. To put it in more simple terms, brands have shifted their focus from using beacons to push promotional discount coupons to customers to leveraging micro-location to push contextually relevant messages to customers, that resonate both in terms of the customer’s location, as well as what they’re interested in buying.

33% of respondents in UK and Asia have kickstarted an indoor proximity program in 2016
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At the same time, experts also predict that year 2017 will see a significant growth in terms of ideas and beacon use cases. So much so that, the rise in successful use cases will result in increased adoption rates. In this blog we will take a look at top 3 ways in which beacons will be leveraged by brands in 2017.

1) Drive product sales and revenue

According to a recent survey by a research firm, Vanson Bourne, 55% of survey respondents cited ‘increasing sales/revenues’ as the reason why they decided to go ahead with a beacon installation. And we will see more brands head this way in 2017.

One good example


Image Source: skar.com

One such successful beacon deployment was the one by American honey producer, Sue Bee Honey. The campaign primarily leveraged location as the cornerstone of its targeting procedure, which is otherwise generally deployed in response to the tracking pixels generated via users’ online browsing interests.

How did they go about it?

As a part of this beacon campaign, ‘mobile moments’ within bricks-and-mortar stores were leveraged to expose consumers to location-based advertising. This primarily revolved around targeting consumers precisely when they are about to make a purchase decision— an approach that violates the indifference met by most untargeted or poorly targeted advertising.

Sue Bee Honey was able to do this by partnering with a platform that specializes in beacon proximity advertising. This partnership allowed them to leverage beacons across 100,000 locations to wake shopping apps on a potential user’s device when he/she entered the store and send a utility message. These utility messages would vary based on the kind of store the user is currently in and the type of app that is being leveraged to deliver a hyper-relevant message. For example, say a user walks into a brick and mortar store with a shopping list app on his/her device, the branded content could simply say ‘Add Sue Bee Honey to your list.’

The campaign was a great success and resulted in Sue Bee Honey increasing its overall awareness by almost 50%, its purchase intent by 450% and delivered a 240 per return on investment (ROI).

How Sue Bee Honey used beacons to increase purchase intent by 450%
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2) Enhancing consumer experience

While a large number beacon campaigns in the early stages were primarily aimed at driving sales, most of the campaigns in the later stages were aimed at enhancing consumer experience. According to the survey by Vanson Bourne, 47% of CMOs cited ‘customer experience’ as the reason why they deployed beacons. And this is not limited to enhancing consumer experience at retail stores or stadiums. Over the span of 2016, we have seen brands across various sectors leverage beacons to attain the same. And chances are that, going ahead we will see more and more industries embrace beacons for the same.

47% of CMOs cited ‘customer experience’ as the reason why they deployed beacons
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One good example


Image Source: mobilecommercedaily.com

One such innovative campaign of recent times was run by Xerox, an American global corporation that sells business services and document technology products. Xerox used beacons to roll out customized, hyperlocal deals to commuters in Hoboken from merchants along their travel routes, via an app called Shop and Ride. Leveraging beacons enabled Xerox to gain insights into a commuter’s travel timings and what his or her preferred transit hubs are. This helped them ensure that the deals they rolled out were completely customized to those travel patterns. Thus this beacon campaign marked a stark contrast with respect to what other online marketplaces such as LivingSocial and Groupon, have been doing with respect to rolling out deals and coupons. For example, Groupon often times rolls out coupons and deals in a general area rather than a specific radius.

How did they go about it?

Having seen the rising demand for mobile ticketing among commuters, Xerox decided to use the opportunity to its max by offering deals to commuters as a part of their transit experience. In order to attain this, Xerox launched an app called Shop and Ride which allowed commuters in Hoboken, a New Jersey suburb of New York, to receive hyperlocal deals from merchants including restaurants and massage parlors thanks to beacon devices implemented at bus shelters and storefronts.

In order to roll out relevant offers to users, the Shop and Ride app requires users to set up a personal profile. The app also hones each user’s targeted offers the more frequently he/she uses the app. Users are even allowed to save a mobile coupon for immediate or future redemption.

To start out Xerox collaborated with 35 merchants in the Hoboken area to send offers to New Jersey transit customers. As a part of the beacon campaign, each participating merchant shared two weekly mobile coupons with Shop and Ride users. The merchants also leveraged important user information such as anonymized data, which displays the number of individuals who open, save and redeem the deals and real-time tracking of conversion rates from Xerox to make better informed decisions on their future rollouts. This allowed merchants to make data-driven decisions on the kind of offers that should be introduced and the optimal time at which they should be rolled out. It also equipped merchants to build a repeat audience once transit riders became familiar with their products or services.

How Xerox leveraged beacons to roll out customized, hyperlocal deals to commuters in Hoboken
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3) Driving customer loyalty

While the traditional approach to building brand loyalty was primarily via loyalty cards, loyalty stamps and coupons, new technologies such as iBeacon have helped businesses take traditional loyalty programs a step higher, by offering tailored, data driven and hyper-local experiences. So much so that, according to the survey by Vanson Bourne, 41% of respondents cited ‘customer loyalty’ as the reason why they went ahead with a beacon deployment.

One good example


Image Source: geomarketing.com

One such successful beacon campaign of recent times was run by The Fragrance Outlet, a perfume and cosmetics chain. The campaign was aimed at building on The Fragrance Outlet’s existing loyalty membership program while trying to attract new shoppers.

How did they go about it?

As a part of the campaign, the cosmetics chain worked in collaboration with a beacon rewards platform to drive its rewards programs by offering samples for rewards-seekers. To start out, beacons were deployed at about 100 Fragrance Outlet stores.

When a customer with the Shopkick app walked into the store, the beacons greeted the user at the door and rewarded them with kicks (beacon-activated app rewards) for the visit. These ‘kicks’ could then be redeemed for discounts, or in the case of The Fragrance Outlet, product samples for brands such as Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Escada, Hugo Boss, Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne, Michael Kors, Thierry Mugler, among others.

The cosmetics chain also adopted the Shopkick linked credit card program called ‘kicks for purchase,’ thereby providing kick rewards to customers who made a purchase at checkout with a linked Visa or MasterCard. This way beacons have helped Fragrance Outlet establish branding and loyalty by driving foot traffic to their stores, attracting new customers, providing rewards to customers for coming into their stores, and generally creating a great in-store experience.

Have you come across any other interesting iBeacon campaign ideas? Let us know in the comments below.

In case you are planning a beacon pilot, take a look at Beaconstac, that includes everything you need to get started. Using Beaconstac you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!


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7 Reasons Why Businesses in India Should Invest in Beacons Now

Year 2016 will always be known as the year that saw beacons go beyond the buzz about them and deliver enhanced user experiences across sectors. Not only did beacons move beyond retail, but the launch of Nearby Notifications and the announcement around Bluetooth 5, pushed beacons into some of the emerging markets in the world, particularly India. Having toppled the US to become the second-largest market for smartphones, after China, in 2016, India saw a huge buzz around beacons.

And while a number of businesses have come forward and run pilots to test out the grounds with regards to beacon campaigns and potential use cases, few have gone public with them. One such beacon deployment was the one at GVK Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai where beacons were used to successfully launch a new app that was aimed at improving passenger experience to a great extent. In addition to providing users with real-time updates on flights, the app also allowed them to receive information to nearby facilities as they walked through the terminal.

How Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai used beacons to improve passenger experience
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Another interesting beacon pilot was the one in which HasGeek leveraged Google Nearby Notifications at an event called ‘The Fifth Elephant’ to inform guests about the steps required to be taken in order to connect to the event’s local WiFi network as well as provide additional details about the conference schedule.

Inspite of this huge buzz around beacons, most of our conversations with potential Indian clients still revolve around a few questions:

(i) How many users will have Bluetooth turned ON on their device?

(ii) Would users need to be online – on mobile data or by being connected to WiFi, and will that be a deterrent for users?

(iii) We don’t have an app in place. Do we have to launch an app to allow users to interact with beacons? How do I drive app downloads?

Before we dig deep into answering those questions, let’s just get a few basics around beacons straight. Following are some of the basic requirements a user needs to fulfill, in order to receive beacon notifications:

(i) Turn bluetooth ON

(ii) Enable location

(iii) Switch on the mobile data or connect to WiFi nearby

(iv) Install a mobile app that is compatible with the beacons. Now, the kind of mobile app that the user is required to have installed totally depends on the kind of beacons that you plan to deploy.

For example, if you plan to install iBeacon compatible beacons, then the user needs to have the corresponding beacon-enabled app on his/her device (both Android and iOS) to receive notifications. On the other hand, if you plan to deploy Eddystone compatible beacons, then all the user needs to have on his/her device (both Android and iOS) is the Google Chrome app.

What are the basic requirements a user needs to fulfill to receive beacon notifications?
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Let’s take a look at how the Indian consumer market fares with respect to these requirements.

Need to stay connected (via WiFi or mobile data)

(1) India is expected to have 500 million internet users by 2017

That India is one of the fastest growing internet markets in the world is no news at all. The country, currently at its peak of digital growth, comes second after China in terms of number of internet users.

So much so that, India is expected to have 500 million internet users by 2017, 400 million of which will access internet using their mobile devices this year, according to Google India’s Search Quality Strategist Ashish Kalsi. These estimates are in line with the projections made by Google India’s Managing Director Rajan Anandan, who said that the Internet user-base in the country is expected to double to 700 million by 2020.

India is expected to have 500M internet users by 2017, 400M of which will be mobile users
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Another important thing to note here is that, the growth potential in India isn’t limited to just the metros or cities. In fact, as of early 2016, a total of 100 million users had gone online in the rural areas.  

(2) Telcos in India to roll out 4G across the country in 2017

While the spectrum auction held in late 2016 did not receive overwhelming response from the mobile operators, spectrum crunch which was once touted as one of the primary factors limiting mobile broadband connectivity in the country has eased to a great extent. This change is primarily driven by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ campaign.

It is no secret that the grand vision of Digital India can be achieved only if we have a reliable, high capacity mobile broadband infrastructure in the country. And now that most of the telecom operators own a sizable chunk of the spectrum, experts predict that 4G – Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology will be rolled out by all, across the country in 2017. This will enhance the quality of service offered by mobile broadband networks to a great extent.

With all this development in line, India is all set to achieve its moderate target of 170 million broadband subscriptions by 2017. However, with proactive spectrum policies, experts predict that India could reset the target to reach 250 million broadband subscriptions by 2017!

(3) Google’s Railwire WiFi is already available at 100 railway stations across India

Early 2016, Google kick-started its project alongside Indian Railways and RailTel aimed at rolling out free, high-speed WiFi at 400 railway stations across the country. And as of 23rd December 2016, Google has successfully rolled out free WiFi to 100 of the busiest railway stations across India. The tech giant also said that with over five million monthly users, Google Railwire WiFi is already helping millions of people discover the benefits of high speed Internet. The company also added that 15,000 first time users have been connecting to its network every day.

Over 5 million monthly users leverage Google’s Railwire WiFi at railway stations across India
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Having had a successful start Google plans to go ahead and deploy free, high speed Wi-Fi at the remaining 300 stations it has on the list. Adding on to that, the tech giant recently introduced Google Station, which gives partners an easy set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places.

Need to turn Bluetooth ON

(4) BLE enabled device shipments to reach 8.4 Billion Units by 2020

According to a recent market study by IndustryARC, there is a rising demand for BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) which when coupled with its rapid penetration into electronic devices will ensure that the market revenues reach $10.1 Billion in 2020 growing at a rate of 22.4% during the forecast period.

It is no secret that BLE protocol with it’s ability to establish a simple wireless connectivity with devices such as tablets, smartphones and other hub devices has enabled new innovations in several markets including smartphones accessories, wearable electronic gadgets, computer peripherals, automotive, and many others. Adding on to that, innovations in development of low-powered wireless devices are projected to drive sales in wearable electronic devices and home entertainment systems, thus making it the leading contributor to the global BLE market by year 2020. Keeping in line with this projection, BLE enabled device shipments are forecast to increase to 8.4 billion units by 2020 at a CAGR of 29%, according to a recent study by IndustryARC Analysis.

At the same time, while America is the largest market on the BLE device shipments front currently,  APAC (China, Japan, India and Oceania) follows close on heels, followed by Europe. Another important thing to note hers is that, Asia Pacific is forecasted to experience a high growth rate of 32.4% compared to other geographic regions during the forecast period.

BLE enabled device shipments are forecast to increase to 8.4 billion units by 2020 at a CAGR of 29%
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(5) India predicted to see a rapid increase in home-grown fitness and wearable device companies

According to a recent study by Tractica, India will see a rapid increase in home-grown fitness and wearable device companies. Being a country with the third largest population of obese people in the world, the leading rates of heart disease and diabetes provide a major opportunity for startups in India to bring innovative fitness and wearable solutions to the market. In fact, an Indian device vendor GOQii is already becoming a key competitor for Fitbit in the Indian market.

Now if you are wondering as to why the sudden talk around wearables, here’s the deal – the quickest way to connect your wearables to smartphones and computers is through Bluetooth. Thus a growing market for wearables promises a drive in Bluetooth usage as well. Just to give you a clear idea about the potential that India holds as a market, the wearable devices market in the country grew by  41.9% in Q2 over the Q1 of 2016, according to a research by International Data Corporation (IDC).

And with Bluetooth 5.0 coming out soon, it will make even more sense to use the technology for connecting all the smart devices.

Need to have an app installed (Google Chrome app or corresponding beacon compatible app)

(6) Google Chrome crossed 1B active monthly mobile active users on mobile

In 2016, Google announced that the Chrome browser crossed 1 Billion monthly mobile active users. While the company hasn’t shared the breakdown for Android versus iOS members, it would be safe to assume that the heavier number might just be on Android’s side.

This is particularly a big news for the Indian market that is primarily Android driven. According to recent forecast by Statista, the number of smartphone users in India is estimated to reach 340.2 million by 2017, while the number of smartphone users worldwide is forecast to exceed 2 Billion users by the same time.

How is this related to beacon adoption in India? Well, given that all Android mobile devices come with a Chrome app installed in them by default, this increases the chances of Indian consumers receiving notifications pushed by Eddystone beacons. Just to a give you a better idea about the kind of Android market that exists in India, 97% of smartphones in India ran the Android operating system in Q2 2016, up from 90% in Q2 2015, according to a report from Strategy Analytics.

Need to enable location

(7)  Rise in successful location-based marketing campaigns in India

Unlike common notion among businesses, Indian consumers are very open to location based campaigns. And this is clearly visible in the kind of success that brands have been experiencing of recent with the location driven campaigns that they ran. For example, OLX, a global online marketplace recently leveraged hyper-location targeting to reach second hand automobile & mobile markets using pin-codes. As a part of this campaign, personalized contextual overlay ads in network apps and mobile websites were used to target users. The campaign that was run over a period of six weeks saw over 5, 00,000 unique users sign up at a cost per unique reach of 3 paise. The campaign also saw a click to install app rate that was 4 times more than other campaigns. Adding on to that 60% of the installs resulted in transactions as well.

Another successful location-based campaign was the one run by Bose in their attempt to reach a specific audience in key cities. The objective of this campaign was to build awareness amongst their target audience about their premium noise canceling earphones. As a part of this campaign, Bose leveraged location-based advertising to reach out to their target audience, which included:

(i) Users present within a 500-meter radius of all airports in India

(ii) Users who visited 5-star hotels in the vicinity of airports

(iii) Users who lived in the top 10 percentile of residential areas

The users is each of these segments were shown dynamic banners and landing pages based on their location. The campaign eventually went on to deliver over 5,000 clicks every day.

Thus, as stated in these 7 stats and facts mentioned above, there is a lot that businesses can use to their advantage if they leverage beacons right away.

Looking to learn about the how businesses can use beacons to their full potential?

If you want to learn more about planning a beacon project, the kind of investment it involves, and how to run a successful beacon pilot, check out our recent webinar on ‘Your Guide to Planning a Successful Beacon Pilot’. It will set you up for success.

If you are planning a beacon pilot, take a look at Beaconstac, that includes everything you need to get started. Using Beaconstac you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!

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