Ryan Craver on Why iBeacons Matter to Retailers

iBeacons/Bluetooth Beacons have come a long way in 2014. This year, more retailers started implementing these tiny devices into their marketing strategies. The first retailer to go large-scale with beacons, Lord & Taylor, deployed beacons utilizing the Swirl platform to all US and Canada stores in July. Shortly after, Macy’s launched a beacon deployment with Shopkick in 4,000 stores just in time for the holiday season.

This Friday, we will chat with Ryan Craver, former Lord & Taylor executive, and the man behind the largest beacon rollout in the US. Craver will answer questions around the success of the beacon deployment and how he sees the future for iBeacon retailers.  Join us Friday, December 19th at 1PM PDT / 3PM EDT for #iBeaconChat with guest host Ryan Craver.

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Moozart App is now free, just in time for the Holidays!

Good news music fans! We’ve released a children’s music app, Moozart. Well, we released it in 2010 and thousands of people paid to download it, BUT, thanks to changes in iOS over the years, a few new bugs needed to be worked out.
For the holidays, we’ve released an update to Moozart that fixes audio issues on iOS 8, provides retina graphics, stops intermittent crashes some people have encountered, provides stereo audio, and has better music. And we are now offering it for free! Get it now in the App Store.

Moozart Splash Screen

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#iBeaconChat: Owning a Beacon Network

It’s fun and easy to get a few beacons and develop a test app. But what happens when you need to deploy thousands of beacons across multiple countries and want to manage it all centrally? After all that time and effort, how do you prevent show-rooming from competitors while still enabling partners to use your beacons too?

In this week’s iBeacon Chat, Gimbal will answer these questions and more around ‘Owning a beacon Network.’ Whether you are a developer or mass retailer, you need to know the ins and outs of managing a network of beacons. Join us Thursday, November 13th at 10 AM PDT / 1PM EDT for #iBeaconChat with guest host Gimbal.

Gimbal tweet chat

What?

To prepare yourself for the chat, review the questions here:

  1. What are some things you should look for in a beacon platform to centrally manage deployment and maintenance?
  2. What are some things you should look for in a beacon for ease of deployment and maintenance?
  3. What are some things to look for in a beacon platform to centrally manage use?
  4. What should you look for in a beacon platform that prevents show-rooming?
  5. What Should you look for in a beacon platform that can enable partners?

When?

On Thursday, November 13th at 10AM PDT / 1PM EDT

Where?

Join us on Thursday at http://twubs.com/ibeaconchat for the live chat! To join please use the hashtag: #iBeaconChat

 

The Fall Fitbit Challenge Is Upon Us

In 2013, we started company-wide Fitbit challenges. As you likely know, Fitbit is a platform that gives you the tools, information, and motivation you need to reach your fitness goals. Sounds healthy, right? But put something like this in the hands of people like us and you’ve gone beyond fitness to a “questionably healthy” level of competition. Now we’re firing it back up again with renewed excitement.

Fitbit badge

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#iBeaconChat: Introducing Nearables

After a few years of evolving beacon technology, hardware providers are introducing a new generation of products into the marketplace. Estimote is doing this with Estimote Stickers, complementary to their standard beacons. Stickers contain an accelerometer, temperature sensors and an optimized ARM processor (with flash memory and a Bluetooth Smart controller). This is all inside a significantly smaller and thinner form factor. These stickers are designed to be placed on everyday objects, which brings us to the Estimote coined term, “nearable.”

By attaching a Sticker to an item, it turns into a nearable – a smart, connected object that broadcasts data about its location, motion and temperature. Estimote defines a nearable as an intelligent object linked by a smart beacon, with a rich SDK, to the cloud.

Join this week’s “Introducing Nearables” TweetChat, #iBeaconChat #nearables, with Estimote’s Roshan Prakash (Business Operations Manager) and Wojciech Borowicz (Community Evangelist) as we discuss why nearables matter and what they can do for you.

What?

To prepare yourself for the chat, review the questions here:

  1. What are nearables?
  2. What are Estimote Stickers?
  3. How do Stickers differ from enterprise grade Estimote Beacons?
  4. What are possible use cases for #nearables?
  5. How to create apps for #nearables?

When?

On Tuesday, October 7th at 8:30AM PDT / 11:30AM EDT

Where?

Join us on Tuesday at http://twubs.com/ibeaconchat for the live chat! To join please use the hashtags: #iBeaconChat and #nearables

#iBeaconChat: Beacons in the Real World

Companies are beginning to integrate Bluetooth beacons into their marketing plans. However, marketers struggle with getting the end user to engage with or download the beacon enabled app. Although a few large companies are seeing early success with beacon technology there are still missteps and common misconceptions.

Sound familiar? It’s time to begin chatting with fellow marketers and business owners who have started using beacons successfully. Join our “Beacons in the Real World” TweetChat, #iBeaconChat, with Anthony Garone (Director of Technology at meltmedia) and BKON Connect as we discuss how to market beacons in the real world.

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What?

To prepare yourself for the chat, review the questions here:

  1. Have you experienced positive interactions with beacons in the real world?
  2. Have you experienced negative interactions with beacons in the real world?
  3. What are the ethical implications around privacy/micro-location?
  4. How long will it be until marketers and technologists can rely on beacons as a dependable tool for real-world engagement?
  5. Will Apple’s recent embrace of NFC have a profound impact on beacon adoption?

When?

On Tuesday, September 16th at 10AM PDT / 1PM EDT

Where?

Join us on Tuesday at http://twubs.com/ibeaconchat for the live chat! To join please use the hashtag: #iBeaconChat

 

 

The Question Nobody is Asking about Bluetooth Beacons

We’ve been talking to lots of people about beacons these past few months. There’s a ton of interest from local businesses of every size who have quickly recognized the power of connecting real-world users and environments with apps on smartphones and tablets. Our conversations often lead to impromptu brainstorming sessions as business owners think of ideas to incorporate beacons into their marketing mix.

But, there’s one question we always bring to the table, and sometimes it stops ideas in their tracks: “How is this idea good for your customers?”

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Social Media Dashboards: What were we waiting for?

We’re an interactive marketing agency. We design and build websites, mobile apps and software for clients every day. We build tools to help make our clients’ lives easier and their work more efficient. But for quite awhile we neglected our own social media presence, mostly because it was a pain in the butt. To update Facebook or send one tweet out to the world, we manually logged into each account and used only the tools that each channel offered. Since we had no way to schedule our social efforts, we often thought to do this when we weren’t busy doing everything else. Usually, that meant before or after normal work hours, when our audience may not be as engaged. That may sound crazy, considering it’s 2014. But how many of you are sitting there reading this and blushing a little?

social media tools and dashboards

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Why is retaining employees so hard?

So, you have a great company. You’ve worked diligently to create a supportive, energetic, enjoyable work environment. You pay your employees well and reward them generously when the organization does well. So, why do they still leave?

It’s extremely easy for an owner or executive of an organization to be bewildered when employees leave. Especially if the departing employee never hinted at any discontentment. So how can you ever know what’s truly in the minds of your employees? I’ll let you in on a brilliant secret… you can’t ever know for sure.

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Tech Stuff: Automation

meltmedia is not a typical interactive marketing agency.

Nearly half the company’s employees are technical and actively develop code. We don’t outsource any of our technology needs because we have plenty of expertise in our Tempe, AZ offices. We don’t call ourselves a “Java shop” or a “.Net shop” because we know how to make use of the best technology for any solution regardless of what language or platform is popular at the time.

We are a company of passionate people. Over the past year, we’ve focused our passion on the practice of automation. The following quote is of great significance and inspiration to us:

Machines need to be productive. People need to be effective. – Jim Benson & Tonianne DeMaria Barry, Personal Kanban

automation

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