Provided by GeoMarketing // Written by James Moore, CRO of

Beacons have the potential to reshape the way customers interact with brands – but marketers need to walk before they can run.

Geofencing is one of the fastest growing products in the programmatic industry. It’s effective, scalable, and available for virtually every advertiser. But as the sales leader for a localized programmatic platform, I often get questions from marketers about beacons showing that, despite effectiveness, there’s still confusion about usage, deployment, and scalability.

Beacons are a brilliant technology. They have the potential to help change the way users interact with specific applications through customized ad content and push notifications, but haven’t caught on with the mainstream market because they can be difficult to scale.

This doesn’t mean some companies haven’t experienced success with beacons. Sports teams such as the Orlando Magic are using beacons to drive ticket sales. Live Nation Entertainment has linked to electronic wristbands for entrance to music festivals and payments, as well as personalized ad experiences. But here’s the kicker: These major success stories have one thing in common — they already have proprietary apps with large amounts of downloads.

Professional sports teams such as the Magic, use their apps for managing tickets, ordering food and drink from concession stands, and for delivering unique content to enhance the users’ game experience. Music festivals, like many other events, use their proprietary apps for event entry, as well as giving attendees access to important event information such as music schedules and venue maps. With all these features, it’s almost impossible for users to resist downloading the app, providing marketers access to the large user-base needed to support a successful beacon strategy.

But right now in the development of beacon technology, not every company should expect such success.

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