Are beacons the saviour of print media marketing?
British publisher IPC Media, owner of NME, Marie Claire, What’s on TV, and others, is planning to run a nationwide campaign that pushes beacon technology for their magazines in stores.
IPC’s campaign, which is in partnership with the Tesco-owned One Stop, will communicate with customers who are using the One Stop or Appflare Redeem apps on their phone, displaying notifications for discounts on over 60 publications from IPC.
On September 1st beacons will be rolled out to 740 UK One Stop stores, with promotions available to all customers who have bluetooth enabled on their phones. And, as these aren’t iBeacons – as in Apple’s creation – Windows and Android phone users can make use of them too.
“As part of this campaign, we will be giving One Stop customers thousands of the nation’s favourite magazines at discounted prices,” explained Katharine Challinor, Retail Sales Director at IPC Media. “We are incredibly excited to launch a wide-scale campaign promoting our brands via Beacon technology. The technology will give us an innovative new way to interact with our readers, at the point of sale, in a way that we know will be timely and relevant.”
Tesco had already trialled beacon technology in their Chelmsford store earlier this year, but decided it wasn’t worthwhile until customers had become more used to the technology – which, if you ask me, seems like a rather backwards way to innovate. Still, with Tesco’s One Stop brand behind the beacon technology, and IPC Media’s push for it in publications too, we might see it take off more and more.
John Lewis has also shown interest in the past with experimenting in Bluetooth Low Energy solutions for push marketing on mobiles. However, it hasn’t decided to roll out anything as of yet.
Beacons are certainly growing in popularity in the marketing space, and it also seems likely that they’ll be used to make purchases too as PayPal have been actively pushing their own beacon tech for payments.
The truth, however, is how consumers react. Will the lure of offers on print media really get them using their phones in store more? And do people really have Bluetooth switched on all the time? As always, beacons sound like a shining ray of light for the marketing industry, which is struggling to really find much of a reason for consumers to shop in store. But is the equivalent of online sidebar advertising in-store really going to get customers to ‘click’? If you couldn’t already tell, I’m dubious. But the fact of the matter is, Tesco and IPC – two big names in retail and media – have gotten behind the technology, so it looks that only time will tell how successful this move really is.