Proximity marketing in action at Collingwood’s annual street event

Pavithra Ravindran

June 26, 2018

A street festival is conducted in the Downtown Collingwood every year. The organisers introduced proximity marketing using beacons to this annual art event. Each year’s festival has a different theme. This year’s theme is Collingwood history, and the event is conducted from May 19th to October 6th, 2018.
As a part of the decoration, painted Muskoka chairs are being lined in the Collingwood’s sidewalks. The art is hand-painted Muskoka chairs, done by various local artists.
They mounted beacons on every Muskoka chair. Due to their water-resistant and dust-resistant resistant property, these beacons withstand the outdoor environment in the streets.
Attendees who switch on their Bluetooth on their smartphones will get a notification on their phone when they are in the vicinity of the painted chairs. Clicking on the notification will provide details about the chairs – the photo of the chair, historical information of the image depicted and information on the artist who painted it. There is also a call-to-action (CTA) button that takes the user to the art on the street’s website.

This use case is very similar to beacon applications in museums. However, it is very smartly designed to fit into events. In such applications, it is crucial to configure the transmitting range of the beacon to an accurate distance. It works best when notifications from different chairs do not overlap.
Collingwood also used the beacon campaign
to generate revenue. They claimed that a part of the revenue generated from the street event would go to charity.

Some suggested use-cases of beacons in events:

  • Inform people about the different activities in the event
  • Navigate users to the major venues of the event
  • Conduct events like a scavenger hunt
  • Send across sign up forms to reduce friction in the registration process
  • Promote merchandise available in the stalls
  • Use keychain and pocket beacons to distribute digital pamphlets on the go
  • Promote the event’s website and app downloads

Beacon use cases in car dealerships

Monika Adarsh           6/14/18

 John, all enthusiastic to buy his first-ever luxury car, was standing in front of the Audi Q2 in a busy store. It was a busy day at the dealership and no salesperson was able to attend to John. But boom, John still received all the relevant specs and information about the car, on his phone. Thanks to technology, instead of being annoyed and leaving for another dealership, John was impressed with the dealer for delivering the right information at the right time!

Well, John is obviously a fictional character, but the scene I just narrated isn’t a fictional sci-fi movie – it’s all achievable with JoeBeacons!

Challenges in modern car dealerships

For verticals like car dealerships, managing footfalls is not a mounting challenge. The bigger challenge though is customer loyalty and in-store experience for potential customers.
Every dealership has seen their share of super busy days and being there for every customer is next to impossible. In the narrative I described previously, in the absence of a beacon, there’s a huge chance that the potential customer is stuck waiting for a salesperson to answer questions or book a test drive. These missed opportunities and unimpressed customers can prove to be very expensive for your business – literally!

Why Beacons?

The modern customer is very different from their predecessors. It’s not surprising when they just whip out their mobile device to compare prices for a model. Customers today are busy looking for information, reviews, best deal and the most practical purchases, instead of waiting around to be wooed by a slick salesperson.
With these changing trends, beacons are undoubtedly the dealer’s best foot forward in extending a warm in-store experience to customers and converting them to buyers. Beacons are much more than just a fashionable add-on to your dealership. Considering the affordability of beacons, it’s the best way to reach out to all potential customers and give them what they need immediately.

A journey of a prospect in a beacon-enabled car dealership

What can you do with beacons in your car dealership?

1. Push notifications based on customer’s proximity
It’s the best way to make your customer feel welcome and attended. Just as they approach a car, the beacon attached to the car transmits a signal to their phone. What goes to the customer’s phone is totally your call. It could be any of these –

  • Vital statistics related to the car
  • Videos
  • Best deals applicable
  • Feature comparison with other models
This is especially helpful for high-end cars where videos, numbers and detailed images can bring about a huge difference in persuading a potential customer!
2. Booking a test drive
Queuing up to book a test drive can often be painful and frustrating for your customers, especially if the showroom is experiencing one of its busy days.
It’s so much easier to fill up the form and sign up for a test drive through mobile devices. When beacons are attached to cars, you can simply target the customer segment that has spent around 10 mins near a car, and then send a beacon notification to them with a link to book a spot for a test drive.
3. Personalised offers
Powerful data collection is every business owner’s (or marketer’s) dream. Once you know what your customers want, you can offer special deals via the app. Initially, you can just shoot notifications whenever a customer approaches a car. They will be automatically greeted with a limited time promotion. However, data can also be gathered to craft individual offers for later use.
4. Generate data for user analysis
Usually, while customers make their choices, you are busy noticing their choices and behaviour. But with growing number of footfalls in the showroom, that isn’t quite a feasible option. With beacons deployed across the showroom, you can collect and analyse-

  1. Customer movements across the showroom (heat map distribution of the showroom)
  2. The popularity of a car model
  3. Views of a model vs. sale of a model
  4. Time spent on a specific car model

This analytics will help you take a decision on the showroom design – which model is to be parked up front, which model takes the centre stage; resource management in the showroom and so much more…

5. Automatic social check-ins
Facebook check-ins are the new thing with most youngsters and one cannot deny the impact it has on your marketing. So why not make it quick and seamless for customers to check-in on Facebook, Foursquare, and other relevant social networks, when they walk into your dealership? Just as they enter, you could greet with a welcome message and a link to check-in on their favourite social media channel.

6. Make your dealership more accessible
However small the segment might be, but there’s always a customer segment around your dealership which is planning to buy cars in the near future. You never know if a limited period offer from your dealership could just trigger her to walk in and buy a car!
To stay ahead of the competition, you could always send few promotional messages to customers crossing your dealership. You have absolutely nothing to lose by doing that.

7. [Bonus] After work hours sales conversations
Car dealerships across the world are using beacons in unexpected ways to boost their sales numbers. I just came across an amazing one from RONNY KASABRI, Corp Auto Sales, West Milford, N.J.
In New Jersey, car dealerships are closed on Sunday. They needed a meaningful way to connect with car shoppers who visit dealerships on Sunday and after hours when there’s no one around to start the sales conversation. That’s when beacons are super helpful!

Wrapping up

Beacons in car dealerships have been catching up lately and it has tremendous potential to boost sales, enhance customer experience and track back-intelligence. This Bluetooth technology is all set to revolutionize the way customers interact with your dealership and how you leverage digital engagement for the physical world.
Lastly, at this moment I’d like to share a compelling data point with you. Approximately 50% of a dealership’s customers will change retailers when their guarantee expires. Surveys, however, suggest there may be a way to slow down that churn. Better customer contact and modernized communication could retain over 20% of those customers who chose to switch dealerships. Now it’s simple maths to understand the positive ROI of beacons!

Why get JoeBeacons to your showrooms?

We believe that marketers should focus on what they are excellent at – executing targeted campaigns. That’s why we’ve created beacons that are ready to run campaigns out-of-the-box. No app or developer required – start rolling in less than 15 minutes!

If you are planning to try out beacons, take a look at JoeBeacon, that includes everything you need to get started. Using JoeBeacon you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!