iBeacon Technology: Why it’s Awesome for Marketers

So we’ve had QR codes and location based services for some time now in the tech and social industry – and since Apple introduced their iBeacon (although this tech has been around for a while too) – we’re entering new territories as marketers and customers.

What are iBeacons you ask?
iBeacon’ is an Apple marketing term for a specific type of Bluetooth Low Energy (also known as BLE). According to Apple Insider – “Essentially, rather than using satellite signals to locate a device anywhere on Earth as GPS does, BLE can enable a mobile user to navigate and interact with specific regions geofenced by low cost signal emitters that can be placed anywhere, including indoors, and even on moving targets.”
Why this is awesome for marketers:
  • Imagine being able to send messages to consumers more contextually. For example, if your brand is trying to target consumers at a venue for an event; you’ll be able to know they’re there and send a message through your brand app to them automatically. Not only is this awesome, but it’s convenient for the consumer too.
  • Why is location so important? It creates the contextual relevance for advertising that otherwise isn’t already there. For example, being at a concert when you get an advertisement for a discount on food located at the venue is way more useful then getting that advertisement on a random day. It is then useful, easy to use, and actually relevant to that person.
  • Imagine your target consumer is parking at a large mall. You already know they have an intent to purchase, and now you can target them accordingly right through the device that is already at their fingertips. They’re probably already thinking what deals can I snag while I’m here – the mindset is there; the location is there; and the context is there.
  • What I think is even cooler? Sending messages or showing different visuals to a person as they walk by a display due to the iBeacon. For example, if someone sees a product they may like, perhaps they get a real-time demonstration of it right then and there.
Things we need to consider:
  • What if Blue Tooth is not enabled?
  • Unless the consumer is an early adopter and really into tech like this (as marketers like myself are); adoption will be slow.
  • Privacy is still a rampant issue that many consumers face and tech like this make some uncomfortable.
What do I envision?
I see this technology growing rapidly and taking shape in many apps and devices. However, I see mainstream adoption not truly occurring until 2015, when more people grow comfortable with this type of location and contextual detection within apps and devices.
Tip to marketers:
Be patient, but be bold too. Take into consideration the age old saying, “test and learn.”
Image source: google images

Wearable Technology – the Hot New Trend

Wearable technology is all the rage, ranging from fitness measuring devices like the fitbit to smart watches that will connect to your smart phone to Google Glass which will let you control even more “without your fingertips” to clothing that detects temperatures, heart rates and even environmental changes. What’s the hot new toy now? In my humble opinion, I am “geeking” out about the latest in wearable tech fashion such as these dresses that change colors based upon what’s going on inside your body or environment.

This is huge for the medical industry, fitness industry and brands overall. Why you ask? Wouldn’t it be great to know when your heart rate is too high and you need to slow your run down or grab some water? I foresee apps like Runkeeper partnering with such types of tech to give their audience a head’s up. What if the temperature is dropping and you’re hiking pretty far up, and need to head back? Wouldn’t it be great to get an alert through the fabric of your underarmour shirt?
Imagine if you’re a celebrity on stage and want your audience to see your tweets live or the hashtag for your event? Forget a live stream on a screen, why not giveaway tshirts that show the hashtag on them in different light settings? Have your live tweets show up on the tshirts too.
Now if that’s not contextual relevance, what is?
Tech is sexy and you know it.
Note – This post was originally posted on Socialnomics and can also be found here.

Classrooms and How they Integrate the Latest Technology and Social Media into Teaching

Living in a city where there is a sea of college students, I see more technological gadgets on these young students than sometimes even on adults. They have iPads in the classroom to take notes on, read their books on, and more. However it’s not just technology that’s advancing in the classroom it’s also the acceptance and usage of social media. There are many colleges that demonstrate adaptation and skill in using social successfully to teach students. So what are the benefits of using new technology and social media? Here are three reasons why your classroom should consider the same…


1. Use the technology and Networks They Already Use and Know

Students are already posting on Facebook, reading blogs on Tumblr, tweeting their favorite things on Twitter, and pinning what they love on Pinterest. They know how to use the sites well, and they use it often. Make part of the class participation online participation. It helps those who are creative but perhaps shy in class. For example homework can include keeping a Tumblr blog about a topic which students can comment on and share ideas on. Or if it’s a photography class, how about utilizing Instagram or again Tumblr to host that content. Tip: find the networks that work best for your lesson content (and students).

2. Integrate With Lesson Plans and Learnings

The infographic demonstrates that professors and teachers are already adapting, andeven shows the networks where they can utilize to make their efforts more fruitful with their students. It’s not just about using Facebook and Twitter, but realizing that you can create a wiki for the class and online discussion, and/or pin daily findings on a Pinterest board. There are numerous ways to take advantage, it’s about creating the lesson plan that works for you and your students creativity and desire to engage with the content in places they love interacting. Some students may be hesitant to use their own profiles that already exist – so perhaps create new ones just for class or a location where they can all contribute.

3. Continue and Extend the Conversation Past the Classroom

It is a great opportunity to extend conversation past the classroom. Take the offline, online. For example creating a hashtag for the classroom to corral conversation and extend a topic that was discussed in class, after class has ended. It keeps the students thinking, searching, reading, and interacting with the content.

Last Tip: Remember to  keep content and tools fresh. As we all are well aware, tools and social networks, and apps change, update, and pop up daily. It is tough to keep up but we have to. Perhaps utilize students who work for the school to keep up on the research regarding what’s the latest to help keep lesson plans fresh.

NOTE: This post was originally written for socialnomics and my original post can be found here. 

Further Reading:
http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/teachers-guide-social-media_b25989
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/for-social-media-in-the-classroom-to-work-instructors-need-best-practices.php
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/the-pros-and-cons-of-social-media-classrooms/15132
http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/story/2012-03-04/facebook-twitter-social-media-classroom/53358382/1