Ask the Board – March 21, 2016 | SCOTT BELL


How can beacon technology best be applied to create value for DOOH operators?

Beacons can help bridge the gap for Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) operators and drive one-to-one mobile engagement with their customer’s core audience. Although beacon technology presents hurdles for adoption; location services and/or Bluetooth must be enabled on a device, and messages must be delivered in-app. Google’s new beacon technology, Eddystone, gives hope that progress is being made and the technology may be adopted at a faster pace in the future.

Despite the challenges, beacons present an opportunity for DOOH operators to reach “in-market” consumers and consumers who are on their path to purchase with a tailored one-to-one promotional message on a smartphone. In addition, data collection can be a big benefit for DOOH operator adoption. Because beacons operate off of proximity, traffic measurements and consumer frequency can be easily measured.

Here are a couple use-cases for the technology:

  1. Data Collection and Insight: Beacons can capture and count the number of devices within proximity. Placing a beacon near your advertising screen or billboard can help create accurate data related to traffic and frequency of traffic. In other words, you can track unique visitors vs. repeat visitors and build consumer profiles. With a large network, you can track consumer habits as they leave “digital breadcrumbs” across a community.
  2. Promotional: As an operator, imagine giving your customers the opportunity to couple their OOH ad with an opt-in mobile promotion to consumers entering your beacon “proximity.” This will extend a brand’s reach, create more engagement and provide value for a consumer.

There exists a huge risk for the OOH industry and beacon technology. Because OOH is largely a pedestrian-based media product, if the operators abuse the beacon’s ability and work to deliver messages to each and every pedestrian within proximity, consumers will be more likely to disable push notifications, location services and Bluetooth. As an industry, we must be careful in our endeavor to engage mobile users and make certain our strategy is to provide value and a better mobile experience rather than deliver more ads.

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Bell Media

Out-of-Home Network Council

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