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Mobile marketing tech and how you’d actually use these tools

From Beacon technology through to Meerkat - marketers are only too keen to tie in the latest mobile technologies to their campaigns but what exactly do these technologies do, and can they be successfully leveraged?

What is it?

Beacon technology

By now most mobile marketers are up with Beacon technology. These low-powered micro-location radio transmitters use Bluetooth technology to detect smartphones within close proximity. This essentially enables retailers to do two things: target customers at truly opportune moments by the transmission of information to their smartphone and gain insights on shopping behaviours based around consumer interaction with the beacon. This technology is now rolling out across stores and an impressive rate with Mothercare, Target and House of Fraser all adopting the technology.

Who is leading the way?  
On of the most recent and most interesting ways in which this technology is being used can be seen by JIVR of London who created a Beacon technology enabled chainless, folding, bike. The bike, which is expected to go into production in summer 2015, is integrated with beacon technology enabling it to communicate with its surroundings. This therefore opens up the possibility of JIVR bike owners being able to receive location based discounts as they traverse their city, not to mention the cyclist being able to track their progress thanks to location based data.

What is it?

Meerkat / Periscope
Meerkat and Periscope - the two new kids on the blog when it comes to video streaming. These two apps enable users to record video or audio and then stream it online. Both these apps, Meerkat developed by Ben Rubin and Periscope by Beykpour and Bernstein (later purchased by Twitter), enable other users to watch or listen live to the streamed content either via the web or via the app links being shared on Twitter. Additionally these viewers / listeners can also add their voice to the content by commenting on the live stream. The streamed content can be saved, along with users comments, and will remain accessible for around 24 hours.  With both apps having only been launched earlier this year it is hard to identify any benchmarks when it comes to mobile marketing, but there are some celebrities and publications who are leading the way.

Who is leading the way?
Celebrity Elijah Wood and Broadcaster Ellen Degeneres are two examples of early adopters of this technology. Elijah Wood using it to engage with his audience after posting a video of a jellyfish while visiting the aquarium where as Ellen Degeneres, in a great example of B2C marketing, used  Periscope to engage with a wide audience by streaming directly from her show. Two brands that are leading the way are Red Bull, who have a strong pedigree in terms of marketing videos, and Pepsi owned soft drinks brand Mountain Dew who created a short video showing a woman spelling out the word ‘swag’  in among mountain due branded clothing. Music streaming service Spotify are also getting in on the act with a behind the scenes video of  Conor O’Brien, the singer from Irish folk band Villagers.  

What is it?

Whether or not you are thinking about shelling out on one there is no doubt that the Apple Watch is the latest word in wearable technology. Shipping of the device to the earliest of early adopters began late April and the device is due to hit stores this summer, and the buzz surrounding the device, as with everything Apple, is huge. While wearable technologies might be the very bleeding edge of consumer gadgets how can they be leveraged by marketers?

Who is leading the way?
While the world of wearable tech is still in its infancy some of the big brands are already beginning to invest, and to invest big, with Juniper Research suggesting that advertising spend on smartwatches could top $68.6 million (£46.9m) by 2019. According to the Wall Street Journal one of the brands leading the way in this sphere is American Express who are, reportedly, experimenting with facial recognition and wearable tech to tap into customer markets, perhaps traditionally overlooked, by financial services.  

What is it?

QR codes
Ahh QR codes, the runner up in the Smartphone revolution, the permanent underachievers, the England football team of the technology world. QR codes are dead...or are they?  It was recently revealed that leading messaging platform Snapchat invested around $50 million in QR code technology, so perhaps reports of the demise of the humble QR code were greatly exaggerated.

Who is leading the way?
Responsibility for the failure of QR codes has generally rested with the marketer. The blog being a great collection of examples as to how this technology has just not been understood by B2C marketing companies (QR codes on your teabags, or your shoes? How about on the side of a bus?). However one company that recently killed it in terms of QR code marketing was the previously mentioned Snapchat and games publishers Activision . Earlier in 2015 the 2012 game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was updated to feature the distinctive Snapchat ghost, complete with scannable code, hidden in the game this then takes you to the Call of Duty Snapchat account where you receive a new Snap which hinted at what was to come in Black Ops 3.Snapchat also integrated these codes, known as Snaptags, in the messaging service itself to give users an easier method of following one and other.


  • Remember no matter how good the technology is it is useless unless you use it correctly  

  • By all means embrace cutting edge technology but keep your message relevant

  • 2015 is the year of Beacon technology, consumers will reward innovation in this area
 Now you’ve read about the tech download the eGuide Modern Marketing Essentials Guide: Mobile Marketing  and start your journey towards becoming a social marketing expert.