Casey Markee on Hyperlocal Marketing with BLE Beacons

Casey Markee, BLE BeaconsA beacon device is nothing revolutionary – it consists of some basic components. It’s what you can DO with them that makes them special. Casey Markee of Media Wyse explores this topic in detail in his session at Rocks Digital 2017. Here are the highlights.

HyperLocal Marketing and Beacons – How to Make it Work

1. Beacons as Lighthouses

A beacon device uses signals from local areas and is most commonly employed with an app. Beacon-enabled apps recognize that, and it initiates an action in the app. Which leads into…

2. HyperLocal Marketing

Remember the movie Minority Report and the different ads that popped up as Tom Cruise’s character walked through the mall? That is happening now. It delivers convenience when a consumer can use that information in real time.

3. Optimize for Micro-Moments

Example: When someone walks back towards various restaurants during lunch hour they are probably looking for someplace to eat lunch. We want to anticipate these micro-moments to take full advantage of them.

Beacons are small and powerful (can be as small as a quarter).

Beacons are extremely easy to set up – comes with its own SDK (software development kit) and are WYSIWYG.

How Do Beacons Work?

  • Place beacons in the venue. They send off a signal – and customers have to opt-in to receive the signal.
  • Beacons do not give offers, they just send out a signal. And to receive the signal you must be using a device that is capable of receiving these signals.
  • They take less battery power and are more precise, and can be used for indoor turn-by-turn navigational uses.

Question: What Can a Business Do with Beacons?

A business can let people know about specials and different products that are being sold.

Question: Why Should a Business Use Beacons?

Helps to increase the possibility of people making purchases at a store.

Things to Know About Beacons

  • Very proprietary: Does work with Android, but only recently. Apps do all the tracking, and beacons send a signal to make a connection.
  • If you don’t have an app or software development program to receive the signal, you cannot use a beacon.
  • Google Eddystone: No App Needed
  • Supports URL and App for messaging, open source (available at Git-Hub); can send messages through UUID.
  • Bluetooth 5 doubles the range and quadruples the speed of Bluetooth signals.
  • 565 million Bluetooth-enabled beacons shipping annually by 2021.

The Physical Web is an app that allows you to sense other programs in machines that allow you to interact with other machines.

You want to make sure this program “Physical Web & Nearby Notifications” on your phone is on and Bluetooth is enabled.

Question: Why Eddystone?

  • Google I/O “Beacon Tools” Launch
  • Google has done a really good job of making it easy for people to learn how to use beacons and interact with them.

Question: What About Security?

  • Piggybacking – when a program comes in on the signal of another program.
  • Beacon signals are based on radio. You have UUID codes that are really long and rotate constantly.

Beacon Use Cases

  • Example: Checking into a hotel using your phone oftentimes will use beacon technology.
  • Eddystone Case Study: UK’s Gatwick Airport
  • The response to beacons has been very good. It has allowed many businesses to do many customer service functions very easily.
  • Catching a train – they use beacons as well.
  • Fighting Human Trafficking – can help let people know where human trafficking is going on.

Designing a Beacon Campaign

Use when people are in a calm area someplace, not in a rough place.

Example: You could use beacons while people are waiting outside a store on Black Friday, but you would not want to use a beacon inside the store where all the chaos is going on.

Question: How to get started?

Get a Beacon Starter Kit, simple and easy to use. Use the code CASEY10 for 10% off. See slide 51 below for details.

Casey Markee is the founder of Media Wyse. View his presentation below.

Edgar Griggs

Edgar Griggs loves to learn about new technologies and high tech gadgets! You’ll find him at local events around the DFW Metroplex and sometimes blogging for websites like The Interestingly Cool Stuff Blog and his TrendHunter page at!

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