Friday, March 13, 2015

How Bluetooth Beacons are enabling a new kind of connected marketable consumer segment

South by Southwest 2015: All About Beacons, Beacons, Beacons

A recent article on Adage detailed the rise in popularity of a new kind of bluetooth technology during SXSW this year: app-enabled event-goer connectivity using so called bluetooth beacons, which act as mini mobile hotspots that enables mobile phone users to connect with each other through a special app that's installed on phones.

This location based service is a draw for advertisers and event sponsors as well as event attendees. Using location awareness, the bluetooth service allows anyone who downloads the conference app to find a list of others who are using the app at the event. Thus far, Eventbase has installed about 260 or so of these installations throughout the city of Austin. By logging onto the app, event attendees are able to see who's at the event, send and promote the profiles of other people at the event. Among pieces of personal information, the app allows you to see where a person works. In a sense it is similar to LinkedIn, but offers a local, proximity-based social networking experience that is very interesting and immediate.

Jeff Sinclair, co-founder of Eventbase, calls the app "hyper-local networking." As retail stores, marketers, and businesses explore the opportunities for generating revenue from location-based services, installation of these bluetooth beacons is picking up in numbers. Facebook is currently conducting a pilot study on the effectiveness of location-based services for advertising to drive sales for ad sponsors.

By using proximity awareness and location sensing, this bluetooth beacon technology is hoping to offer a tighter, deeper integration between event attendees and sponsored content. Eventbase believes that location aware apps will become a differentiable platform to market products and services to customers who are looking to make local purchases. And that means it's good for business and good for marketers.

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