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  • Writer's pictureDoug Pittman

4 Negatives of Beaconing

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

There has been a lot of talk about adding beaconing to your marketing mix. Is it effective? What does it do? How much does it cost? These questions have been circling marketing offices for the past few years now. Many have discussed the potential value of beacon technology, but we’re here to tell you the negatives of this dying idea.

Beacons emerged as a creative way to generate real-time, location based mobile campaigns. Big named brands have tested the effectiveness of sending time and location relevant messages to their consumers when they enter specific locations. At first, this technology seemed revolutionary, but over time the market has found some flaws in beaconing.

1. Slow installation process

If you want to use beacon technology, one big obstacle stands in your way: hardware install. For the Bluetooth capabilities to work, someone must come out and install Bluetooth devices in physical locations. We all know how long it takes for the cable guy to come out and setup your TV, or the internet guy to come hook up WiFi. No one wants to deal with this laborious process.

2. Reliance on hardware

A big problem with beaconing technology is the reliance on Bluetooth. Many people may not even have blue activated on their devices, and without Bluetooth turned on, beacon technology is rendered useless. Although beacons have long lasting batteries, they do not last forever. This means that over time beacons will die and any messaging/tracking will not occur until batteries are replaced.

3. The fine line between messaging/annoying the consumer

In a mobile world, marketers tip toe a fine line between sending relevant messages to consumers and annoying them to the point of deleting the app. It is important for brands to understand when enough is enough, and to use data to effectively learn about their consumers and when they receptive to engagement. Bridging the gap between the physical and digital world is something marketers have been focused on for a while now. Understanding how contextual push notifications benefit the consumer is vital to mobile campaigns.

4. Location-Based Solutions

Beacons are slow, clunky, and have the potential to be annoying, but beaconing is not the only location based solution. Some companies are using geofencing technology to solve these problems, and have found ways to reach target audiences without installing hardware and relying on Bluetooth. Interested in learning more about location based solutions? Check out this geofencing article:


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