By Chuck Martin
Beacons are going big.
While many retailers, agencies and brands have been experimenting with beacons for many months, the growth of the small transmitting devices into the marketplace continues.
It turns out that almost one in five mobile marketers already are using Apple’s iBeacons, with that number projected to double to more than a third next year, based on a new study.
As context, almost half (49%) of marketers currently use GPS location data, according to the latest Mobile Benchmark Report by Adobe.
The report comprises an analysis of behavioral data based on more than 18 billion visits to U.S. consumer facing websites, 700 million mobile app sessions and surveys of more than 3,000 mobile users in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France and Germany.
The study found that the use of beacon technology is growing, with the majority (54%) of mobile marketers expecting to be beaconing within the next 12 months. Here’s the picture:
18% — Already using beacons
36% — Plan to use beacons in next 12 months
17% — Not sure
28% — No plans to use beacons in next 12 months
Within the next three months, there will be 30,000 active beacons in the U.S., with more than three quarters of them in retail stores, based on a forecast by BI Intelligence, as I recently wrote about here (Beacons, Beacons, Everywhere Beacons).
The number of beacons will grow 287% to 5 million beacons within four years, with most of them in use by retailers, according to BI Intelligence.
To say there’s high market interest in beacons would be an understatement, with new beacon news and announcements almost daily.
Apple is updating its beacons in Apple and Disney stores, beacons are now being used for mobile payments and Tesco is using beacons to sell magazines in stores, for example.
And MediaPost has created a conference on beacons, slated for Nov. 3 in New York (IoT: Beacons), which I’m currently programming.
The point is that beacons are going mainstream.
Beacons are being deployed at ballparks and footballs stadiums as well as malls and stores.
Like NFC (near field communications), consumers are unlikely to ever hear the term beacon, though many are likely to experience the impact.
Based on precise targeting due to beacons, mobile shoppers can receive much more value, and we’re not talking about them being bombarded with irrelevant ads as they shop.
Brands, agencies and suppliers are realizing this as they explore and experiment to determine the correct value. Beacons are the new mechanism from which to initiate that value.
Beaconing is well underway.
Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.