Proximity Sensors Now In Most Airports, Spell New Advertising Potential

What Happened
According to a new report from Unacast, a marketing firm that specializes in proximity networks,  84% of the world’s airports have or are testing deployment of proximity sensors. In the US, 35% of the top 20 airports have officially deployed beacons. The report also found that 49% of the world’s airports plan to “directly contact passengers via their mobile phone over the next three years,” which will most likely include location-based brand messages. San Diego International Airport, for instance, has already deployed approximately 300 beacons, allowing concessioners based in the airport to advertise their shops to travelers nearby via their own apps or the airport’s app.

What Brands Should Do
This report points to a significant growth of proximity sensors at airports and, to a lesser degree, other transit hubs, which spells massive potential for advertisers to better understand their audience and deliver their brand messages in a granular, contextually relevant manner. For brands looking to connect with travelers at key moments in their journeys, it is time to consider working with airport beacon operators to explore the location-based advertising opportunities they offer.


Source: AdAge

Gimbal Partners With HMN To Roll Out Beacons For Medical Centers

What Happened
Gimbal is teaming up with Health Media Network (HMN) to bring beacons to medical centers and doctors’ offices. HMN’s digital display platform, currently serving over 12,000 medical facilities across the country, customizes and targets content for 30 specialty health networks. With this partnership, Gimbal beacons will bring geofencing solutions around medical facilities to HMN’s existing digital displays, enabling targeted messaging between healthcare brands and patients.

What Brands Need To Do
This new beacon program enables wellness and pharmaceutical brands to tap into the power of targeted messaging at a crucial time in patients’ healthcare journeys. With the beacons in place, this partnership also opens up the possibility of beacon-triggered mobile messaging in doctors’ offices, which, provided that HMN partners with the right apps to deliver the messages, could bring the communication between brands and patients to a more intimate and effective level.

Source: GeoMarketing

Target’s Discount App Cartwheel Adds Support For Digital Coupons

What Happened
Target is expanding its branded discount shopping app Cartwheel to help customers save even more at checkout. Through a partnership with Quotient, a third-party provider of digital coupons from manufacturers, Target shoppers can now enjoy steeper discounts on a wider range of products. Moreover, the app is able to receive communication from the beacons that Target is installing in their stores, allowing the retailer to serve customers with contextually relevant information and brand messages.

What Retailers Need To Do
Adding support for digital coupons should attract more budget-conscious shoppers to Cartwheel, which Target says is already “used by millions.” Cartwheel not only provides Target with a valuable sales channel to reach mobile shoppers, it also lays a solid foundation for Target’s beacon initiative. More retailers should consider developing similar mobile commerce channels to engage today’s connected shoppers.

For more information on how brands can modernize their user experiences to better engage with shoppers, check out the Boundless Retail section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: TechCrunch

Google’s Eddystone Beacons Deployed For Buses In London

What Happened
Google introduced its own beacon protocol named Eddystone last July to compete with Apple’s iBeacon, and now it is finally being tested in the real world. Proxama, a UK-based mobile commerce company partnered with out-of-home advertising firm Exterion Media to create the MyStop project, which marks “the world’s first deployment of a Physical Web consumer engagement experience.” Launched this month in London, this project equipped a hundred buses with Eddystone beacons that send out URL-based notifications to nearby smartphone users with the Chrome browser installed on their phones. Upon tapping, the notifications will open a web-based app that provide real-time route updates and other relevant information.

What Brands Need To Do
While this deployment doesn’t currently include any ad opportunities, the creators reportedly plan to add related advertising eventually. Nevertheless, this project showcases an interesting use case for beacon-based proximity technology that goes beyond its usual usage in the retail environment. Brands seeking to connect with local consumers at a hyperlocal level should certainly keep this example in mind when developing location-based marketing campaigns.


Source: Marketing Land

How Barneys’ New Flagship Store Goes Beyond Physical Retail

What Happened
Upscale retailer Barneys New York is opening a new flagship store in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, and it comes equipped with new retail technologies that aim to elevate the shopping experience. Barneys is launching a new beacon network in the store that can send location-based notifications to customers who have Barneys’ app installed on their phones. The sales staff will also be equipped with tablets so they can quickly pull up customer profiles and make personalized recommendations to shoppers based on their purchase history. Moreover, the retailer is also launching same-day delivery service for online shoppers in select areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

What Retailers Need To Do
With over two-thirds of Americans now owning a smartphone, mobile is becoming an increasingly important touchpoint for retailers. So it makes perfect sense that Barneys is using beacons, customer profiles, and an on-demand delivery service to bridge the online with the offline via shoppers’ smartphones. Barneys’ new flagship store provides a good example for retailers looking to modernize their stores and provide customers with a consistent retail experience across online and offline channels.

For more information on how retailers can better utilize customer data to connect with shoppers across channels. check out the Boundless Retail section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: Digiday

Google Adds Beacon-Detecting Capability To Chrome App

What Happened
Last July, Google launched its own beacon initiative Eddystone to compete with Apple’s iBeacon, and now it is expanding the reach of its beacons by adding the capability of recognizing and interacting with nearby beacons to its Chrome browser apps. Starting with version 49, currently in beta, Chrome for Android will be able to read and interact with these Eddystone beacons.

What Brands Need To Do
With this addition, stores employing beacons will be able to reach a larger user base of devices that can detect and communicate with beacons, which has become an increasingly popular tool among retailers to provide product information and value offers to customers in store or retarget them online later. For more details on how brands can utilize beacons to improve shopping experience and reach more customers, check out the Boundless Retail section in our new Outlook 2016 here.


Source: 9to5 Google

Image courtesy of Google Developer Blog

Mobiquity And Screenvision Bringing Beacons To Movie Theaters

What Happened
Cinema advertising company Screenvision has struck a partnership with shopping mall-based beacon ad network Mobiquity Networks to bring beacons to 300 movie theaters across the states. Screenvision advertisers will have the option of sending mobile ads, triggered by the beacons, to consumers when they’re in the lobby of the theater, or when they are in one of the over 475 shopping malls equipped with Mobiquity’s beacons. The app will be one of the apps used for identifying the beacons and collecting anonymous consumer data. Mobiquity has yet to disclose the other third-party apps involved.

What Brands Need To Do
Beacons have become an increasingly popular tool for retailers to acquire consumer data and bridge in-store experiences and the digital. By bringing beacons to movie theaters, this partnership should extend the reach of pre-show ads and movie trailers, helping advertisers to connect with movie-goers beyond the cinemas. For example, retail brands with stores located in shopping malls should consider advertising in the theater within the mall so that they can retarget the movie-goers walking past their in-mall storefront after leaving the theater. Similarly, an entertainment brand can use beacon-triggered messages to remind customers of the trailer they once saw when the movie is released.


Source: Marketing Land


Fast Forward: How Yext’s Xone Can Reach Black Friday Shoppers On Cyber Monday

•  Yext launched Xone, a beacon network for offline-to-online engagement
•  Retailers can message shoppers in real-time or retarget later on Facebook and Twitter
•  Analytics dashboard gives transparency to repeat visits and increased footfall driven by ads

What Yext Announced
Yext, a leader in digital location management and one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the US, launched a location-based real-time audience engagement tool which is integrated with retargeting and online-to-offline attribution analytics. The new product is called Xone (pronounced “zone”). The Lab had a chance to sit with the Yext team on Friday, and we came away impressed.

Yext Xone App

Working with commodity beacon hardware, the SaaS tool allows retailers to accomplish three main goals. First, if a customer opens a Xone partner app while in range of a store’s beacon, the retailer has the option of displaying a “Xone Tip” that could promote a specific product or offer a discount. Note that this only happens inside a partner app as Xone does not do push notifications. Second, all customers with a partner app and bluetooth on that come within range of the beacon have their device IDs added to a database and can be retargeted on Facebook and Twitter now and soon on Instagram, Pinterest, DoubleClick, and more. That audience retargeting can be filtered by location, number of visits, and visit age. Third, there is an analytics dashboard pulling everything together, including attribution and analysis of visits to stores after online retargeting.

What Retailers Need To Do
The holiday shopping season is coming soon and it’s not too late to install and implement a complete system in your stores. For example, if you want to retarget customers that come in on Black Friday for Cyber Monday sales, Xone is the best way we know of to do it. While you’d have the option of in-store messaging that most people associate with beacons, you can also buy ads for both real-time or later placement in Facebook’s News Feed or Twitter’s Timeline. Black Friday or Christmas Eve deals are a great reason to target in real-time, even with different messages throughout the day, followed by retargeting on Cyber Monday or later in the holiday season. The retargeted ads on Facebook and Twitter can be cross platform, to appear on mobile, desktop, or both.

Xone’s attribution analytics can also help you calculate ad effectiveness in driving customers back to your store, even without new creative. For example, you could measure repeat customer visits for an audience that is seeing your ads versus a control group. Xone is the first beacon ecosystem product we’ve seen that completes the full circle from in-store data aggregation and messaging, retargeting, through attribution. If you’ve been waiting to try beacon technologies in your stores, the cost and time associated with setup have past the point of impediment.

We’ll soon have a demo of Xone in the Lab and can walk you through the setup, retargeting, and insights you’ll gain. Please contact us to schedule a demo.

Market Impact
Yext represents retailers’ digital location data for more than 500,000 locations, giving retailers an easy way to push updates to store hours, phone number, or other data to more than 100 app and map publishers, including Apple Maps, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, Yahoo, and Yelp. With that foundation supporting it, we expect the platform to get buy in from more and more app owners. For now though, Xone partner app network is limited to 30 million monthly active users, not all of which have bluetooth turned on. However, with the growing adoption of wearable devices and bluetooth audio, more and more consumers are leaving their bluetooth on, so the reach of Xone’s network will expand accordingly.

How We Can Help
Please contact Engagement Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) at the IPG Media Lab if you would like more detail or to schedule a visit to the Lab to discuss strategies and tactics around retail technology and beacons generally, or Xone specifically.

For previous editions of Fast Forward, please visit Please reply with any constructive criticism or feedback. We want these to be as useful as possible for you and your clients, and your feedback will help us immensely.


All pictures featured are promotional images courtesy of Yext

Google Launches Eddystone Beacons To Compete With iBeacons

Watch out, iBeacon! Yesterday Google announced “Eddystone,” an open source beacon standard designed to be platform-agnostic to take on Apple’s iBeacon, whose proprietary standard only works with Apple devices and shuts out all the Android users. In comparison, Eddystone beacons will be able to work with any device that supports Bluetooth LE. In addition, Google’s beacon platform will offer more options for the types of functions the beacons can trigger than iBeacons, therefore diversifying the data sets Google can collect via the beacons.

Armed with such universality and versatility, Eddystone seems to have some serious competitive edges over iBeacons. Interestingly, just weeks ago, Facebook started handing out free beacons to the retailers across the country to support the expansion of its hyperlocal feature Place Tips for Business. Now with Google officially joining the beacon race, the proximity and IoT spaces look more competitive and vibrant than ever.

Source: ARS Technica

Header image courtesy of Google Developers

Beacons Are Coming To Ford Showrooms

Read original story on: WardsAuto

Ford is set to begin a pilot test program for beacons in a handful of showrooms to aid a more independent sales process. Because car shoppers begin their research online, the purchase cycle has become compressed, enabling people to get the information they need faster, leading to a quicker purchase. Dealers will attach the beacons to models they want to feature in their showrooms. As a shopper walks around the vehicle, the devices will broadcast key information to the customer’s smartphone that might help close a sale.