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BLE Beacon and Proximity Marketing: Personalization at Best

BLE Beacon and Proximity Marketing:  Personalization at Best

For decades, product, price, promotion and placement have been four crucial P’s of marketing and businesses have been doing that pretty successfully using traditional methods such as radio ads, tv ads, via newspapers, flyers, billboards, and magazines but now is the time to add Proximity and Personalization to that mix cause what appeals better than a personalized ad, sent to you on your smartphone or some type of display while you pass by an item for sale, in a store.

With advances in technology, it is becoming easier to target customers with personalized marketing messages, even when they are physically close to your store or location. This is known as proximity marketing. 

See, technology is changing our lives at a rapid pace and so many things are now possible with IoT and proximity sensors and RFID, BLE, NFC, etc. technologies. Businesses can now generate a lot of data using these technologies and make sense of that data with artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). One tool that is becoming increasingly popular for proximity marketing is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and Bluetooth beacons. Bluetooth beacons are small IoT devices based on Bluetooth Low Energy Technology that communicate with smartphones and tablets (supporting BLE), within their range and work like a bridge between the digital and the physical worlds.
With Proximity marketing, customers can now be targeted with individualized marketing messages when they are close to your store or location. Let’s see how this works in detail:

What is BLE and how it is being used for proximity marketing?

BLE is a wireless technology (developed over Bluetooth specifications) that enables devices to communicate with each other over short distances. What makes it different from classic Bluetooth is that it is an energy-efficient version of classic Bluetooth, hence the name Bluetooth Low Energy. 

It is commonly used for proximity-based applications. BLE-enabled devices, such as smartphones, can scan for and detect BLE beacons that are placed within a certain range. BLE beacons, under Bluetooth 5.4 specifications are equipped with PAwR (Proximity Advertisement with Response) which enables a bidirectional communication between the source and the customers, allowing for impactful advertisement campaigns. Apart from that, PAwR is also used in ESL (Electronic Shelf Label) allowing customers with updated information about a product such as pricing, nutritional values, and discounts as applicable.

BLE technology has great potential for proximity marketing. Retailers can use BLE beacons to deliver personalized messages to customers when they are near their store. 

In retail stores, customers can be welcomed by a message that promotes the latest offer or a special discount code that can be redeemed in the store. Additionally, retailers can use these beacons to gather information about customer behavior and preferences to improve their marketing efforts.

Bluetooth Beacon Proximity Marketing

Bluetooth's proximity marketing is also known as beacon marketing. Beacons are small battery-operated devices used for sending advertisement packets within a short range of distance. 

When customers go to a retail store with a smartphone (Android or iOS), they get a pop-up notification of personalized promotional advertisements. Some users can turn off or mute such notifications, but a majority of users require shopping guides or prefer personalized content and that is how Bluetooth Low Energy beacon marketing works.
Bluetooth Low Energy technology is known for low power consumption which ensures extended battery life of BLE beacons and a cost-effective operation. The technology features PAwR (Periodic Advertisement with Response), which allows form periodical data sharing with nearby BLE enabled devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Bluetooth Low Energy beacons are a cost-effective solution, easy to implement, and easy to use. It is a highly scalable technology, from supermarket retailers to small-scale businesses. They are efficient for various businesses and promise much greater ROI (Return on investment).

Workings of Bluetooth Proximity Marketing

Bluetooth beacons are short-range wireless technology. They constantly emit radio signals that are received by nearby smartphones equipped with Bluetooth low energy technology. These signals contain a unique ID that, recognized by a user's smart device, triggers a pre-programmed action. It could be displaying a special offer to provide details of a product, or even notifying the user to visit a nearby store.

A retail store can target customers through their smartphones, particularly those carrying Bluetooth phones, through beacon-based proximity marketing.

By pushing notifications of various offers when customers visit the target location, businesses can reach a wide range of customers, from store divisions. Similarly, in museums, beacons can provide additional information about exhibits or offer interactive experiences.

The possibilities are endless, and businesses are only just beginning to tap into the potential of proximity marketing through Bluetooth beacons.

Applications of proximity marking using Bluetooth beacons in various businesses

1. Retailers: Retail stores can use beacon-based proximity marketing with the full potential of Bluetooth LE technology. Exclusive discount offers, shopping guides, and product advertisements are provided to a consumer through their smart devices. It benefits retail owners by increasing their customer engagement and in-store visitors. It also helps retailers by increasing overall customer experiences. Some, retailers like Lord & Taylor and Amazon use Bluetooth LE beacons in their stores to welcome customers with product-relevant advertisements depending on their shopping history and their preferences.

2. Real Estate: Beacon-based proximity marketing in real estate targets specific users, who are looking for a room, flat, or apartment. It helps both the seller and buyer through a smooth marketing process.

3. Restaurants: Several restaurants use Bluetooth LE beacons for proximity marketing to display advertisements of various discounted meal offers and newly launched meal introductions. It targets both the consumers within the restaurant and the surrounding area to a limited range. Special coupons and offers with the help of Bluetooth-enabled wearable devices help to increase customer interaction and engagement.

4. Travel Industry: Proximity marketing in the travel industry targets interested travelers or people looking for transport-related information. They help interested travelers from various locations that pass by a transport service provider. They push relevant information like discounts on rides, traveling guides, and deals to their smartphones. These deals may be related to destinations, hotels, and rental accommodations.

5. Hospitality: Bluetooth beacons are being used in hospitality and management to send special welcome messages to their guests, room keys, and information to guests, promoting proximity marketing offers and loyalty programs.

Implementation and configuration of Bluetooth LE beacons

Implementation of Bluetooth Low Energy beacon for proximity marketing requires setting up of BLE beacons, gateways, and cloud integration, etc.

Here are the basic steps one can follow:

1. Choose a beacon management platform: There are various platforms that are available to manage and configure your Bluetooth beacons. Ruddersoft Solutions Private Limited develops customized Bluetooth beacon platforms that match your needs in terms of features, ease of use, and compatibility with your devices, at cost-effective prices.

2. Register your beacons: After selecting the right management platform for your needs, the registration process for beacons starts. Then, you need to register your beacons. This typically involves entering the unique identifier of each beacon into the platform.

3. Configure your beacons: Configure the settings of beacons, such as the range of beacons and transmit power. These settings will determine how far the beacon's signal reaches and how frequently it is transmitted.

4. Associate content with beacons: Associate the desired content, such as notifications or webpages, with the beacons. This can usually be done through the beacon management platform.

5. Deploying beacons: Once everything is set up and configured, you can deploy your beacons in the desired locations. Make sure they are securely placed and positioned to 

Benefits of Bluetooth LE Beacon-based proximity marketing

When it comes to proximity marketing various technologies including RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), NFC (Near Field Communication), QR Codes, Wi-Fi etc. but BLE is the most preferred as it is the most cost effective and comes with great form factor. 

One of the most notable benefits of BLE proximity marketing is that it enables businesses to deliver targeted ads and promotions to customers who may be interested in them. 

This targeting is based on location, making it much more effective than traditional marketing channels such as television advertisements or billboards. By knowing their location, businesses can deliver highly relevant promotions that resonate with their customers in a more intimate way.

Another benefit of using BLE for proximity marketing is that it allows businesses to track customer behavior in real-time. Businesses can use this data to improve their marketing strategies and optimize their in-store experience. Consider this, if more customers are spending time in a certain section of a store, businesses can use this data to create more targeted campaigns for that area.

More benefits include:

1. It offers a competitive edge over other businesses that are not using beacon proximity marketing, as it amazes and increases the number of customers.

2. The key role of beacon-based proximity marketing is to offer a personalized user experience to a consumer.

3. Customer communication becomes more manageable for a retailer because beacon-based proximity marketing targets those clients who are likely to make a purchase. It sends the user's smartphone push notifications with personalized content, a discount code, or a promotional voucher.

4. Bluetooth-based proximity marketing collects data and can provide brands with information about their consumers' activity, allowing professionals to create future campaigns to engage those consumers.

Proximity marketing through Bluetooth Low Energy beacons is revolutionizing the way businesses connect with their target audience. The BLE Beacon technology has several benefits, including low power consumption, low cost, and a long-range capability and  BLE proximity marketing has proven to be an effective tool for businesses looking to target customers in a more personalized and intimate way.

Bluetooth LE technology beacons allow brands to deliver relevant content at the right time and place. Bluetooth-based proximity marketing offers benefits like personalization, enhanced customer experience, and increased conversions. Businesses that use proximity marketing stand to gain a competitive advantage and create meaningful connections with their customers.

By delivering personalized messages and tracking customer behavior, businesses can improve their marketing strategies and create a better in- store experience for customers via enhanced positive engagement that is now possible with BLE and PAwR.

Privacy Concerns in BLE Beacon based Proximity Marketing

It is important to note that while BLE proximity marketing has many benefits, it needs to be used in the right way to be effective. One of the main concerns associated with this technology is privacy. Customers may feel uncomfortable with the idea of being tracked or having their data collected without their consent. 

To address such concerns, businesses need to be transparent about their data collection procedures and provide customers with a clear opt-out option.

Frequently Asked Question

Q1)  What is proximity marketing, and how does it work with Bluetooth beacons?

Proximity marketing is a strategy that the physical location of a customer to deliver targeted content or pre-written messages. Bluetooth beacons are small devices that communicate with smartphones in proximity. It triggers the delivery of personalized content, promotions, or information via a compatible app.

Q2) Are Bluetooth beacons secure?

Bluetooth beacons, while they do not store personal data, secure data transmission through an app and server infrastructure. It implements encryption and user privacy for a secure proximity marketing system.

Q3) What is the range of Bluetooth beacons?

The transmit power of a Bluetooth Low Energy beacon impacts its range, with a theoretical maximum of 100 meters and a typical range of 30 meters without any interference or obstacles.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Jun 15, 2023
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