Beacon Technology driving User Engagement


In 2015, Marketing Tech News predicted that Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon technology would go mainstream in 2016. It seems that the prediction has come true as more and more companies are adopting this technology.

Mobile commerce company Proxama recently reported that brands using beacon-triggered enhanced advertising have seen that delivering contextually-relevant experiences drives higher engagement levels. According to Proxama, one example of this is photo printing site Sticky9, which has used the tech and experienced an average click-through rate (CTR) of 14.5%, “higher than the typical one to two per cent of non-beacon-triggered advertising.

In particular, beacon triggered real-time travel update notifications are said to be receiving a CTR of around 44%.

Case study: Mapway

The latest company to get on board with this tech to deliver contextual adverts is global transport app company Mapway. It’s integrated Proxama’s beacon Mobile SDK into its Bus Times London app and is currently deploying a utility-led consumer engagement experience to London passengers. This is powered through Exterion Media’s bus beacon network, which is underpinned by Proxama’s ‘TapPoint’ beacon platform.

The feature is currently available on Android and will be out on iOS this month.

Bus travel in London accounts for more than half of all bus journeys in the UK and the average journey time is 17 minutes – enough time for brands to attempt increased engagement with customers.

Through the app, using beacon technology, users will see:

Real-time travel updates:  In-app notifications are delivered to users when they board a beacon-enabled bus, advising them of real-time travel updates for the route they are traveling on

Contextual in-app ads: Relevant and timely advertising is served based on the consumer being on board a bus at time of viewing. Brands can capitalise on the consumer’s exact physical context and dwell time to deliver ads at the right time and increase click through rates

What performance is expected?

CEO of Mapway, David James, told Marketing Tech News that the choice to try beacon tech was because the company was always looking at new ways to innovate with its marketing. Key metrics it’s looking at are the percentage of its user base that engages with the pushes and how this affects their daily active sessions.

At this stage it’s too early to say how we think this will compare to the more traditional advertising we use in our other apps, but we are expecting and hope for a greater user experience overall,” James told Marketing Tech. “This platform has enormous potential for brands, and we look forward to helping them better engage with consumers. Similarly, we hope adverts will become of more interest to users of our apps, replacing volume with quality and relevance,” he added.

Jon Worley, CEO of Proxama’s marketing division said “Mapway was keen to lead with a customer utility function, so combining the bus app with the existing beacon bus network was the perfect initial roll out for this kind of service.”

“ Relevant and timely messaging has always been key to achieve high levels of engagement. In the increasingly important yet crowded mobile channel, brands will need to work harder to reach their audience. The consumer’s’ physical context will be a critical factor in defining the right moment to engage, grab the user’s’ attention and achieve high levels of response,” Worley added.

As advertisers seek to increase engagement in what some may call a saturated market, it’ll be interesting to see what innovative ways beacon technology will be used by brands.


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