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?"
The beacons platform we're developing for our clients is powerful and innovative. We have removed many of the technical hurdles that make beacons difficult to deploy and manage. So far, that has been the easy part. The hardest part has nothing to do with software, and everything to do with the motivation of users.
Let's ask a couple more questions
- Beacons may allow a business to deliver highly tailored marketing campaigns to their customers, but will users download a beacon-capable app that just advertises to them and collects data about them? Likely not.
- Beacons are awesome for understanding traffic flows in retail locations or conferences, but will users download an app that tracks their every movement? Many will be uncomfortable with this.
Users are smart. They are conscientious about what apps they have on their phones. They don't want to feel like they are being spied on or advertised to. And we don't want to encroach on the sensibilities of those users. To us, deploying beacons shouldn't cost users their sense of privacy or security. It shouldn't annoy them. If we wouldn't download and use the apps ourselves, it becomes a challenge to deliver a great product.
So, as you think about the ways beacons can work for you and your business, start with: "How is this idea good for my users?" We have several ideas that are great for users and businesses alike.
One more thing!
We are available to educate your organization on the potential usefulness of beacons as it relates to your industry. We promise to help you keep the focus on your users. If you would like us to host a beacons workshop for your team, reach out to Ron Barry.