We are at an inflection point in our industry- ripe for explosion and the path towards ubiquity. In the not too distant future, location solutions will be as common for enterprises as having a web domain and email marketing program. While location technologies (e.g., beacons and geofences) were initially in their hype-phase, leading enterprises took notice, and many are starting to leverage the solutions on a large scale. In a time when devices, people and locations are becoming increasingly connected, it is only a natural evolution.
However, the industry is also full of misinformation, much of which could skew a prospect or adopter away from the correct mindset for maximizing the value these solutions can create. As an early innovator and thought leader- and the most vetted, tested solution being used in primetime by many of the world’s biggest retailers, financial solutions, entertainment venues and festivals– we at Gimbal want to help steer the conversation in the right direction so you too can be successful.
Without further ado, here are some quick and easy ways for you to get started:
Step 1: Macro-location
In our vocabulary, we define macro-location as a solution that helps engage and understand customers in areas of 50 meters and greater. If you are familiar with our platform, this is achieved through geofencing. If you need a quick review on the technology, check out our blog post here. Without getting too technical, this allows a practitioner to create virtual boundaries around the areas they are interested in (their store, restaurant, shopping malls, etc.).
So why is step 1 to use macro-location geofencing? Because it is simple, easily deployed and the results can be immediate. Without being tied to any hardware limitations (e.g., beacons), geofencing is a great way you can begin understanding and engaging your customers in ways you would not traditionally have available.
We’ve built our geofencing to be easily configured and scalable, meaning it is simple and painless to go from testing to a full roll out with various options to upload the macro-location places you are interested in.
Step 2: Micro-location
While geofences do the trick for large macro-locations, they have their limitations. Bringing insight and engagement capabilities into tight quarters (particularly indoors), requires some creativity. To address the challenges of engaging customers from centimeters to 50 meters, we developed Bluetooth® Low Energy beacons. While we began creating our beacons in 2011 within Qualcomm, we are now producing our sixth generation products that feature unmatched security, support and flexibility. You can learn more about our beacons are deciding which ones are right for you, here.
But why did we expand on our macro-location solution? Early on, it was clear that as mobile experiences becoming increasingly granular and relevant for users, the valuable of those interactions increase exponentially. Once an enterprise effectively understands and harnesses macro-location, it is appropriate for them to begin layering in micro-location. The opportunities are huge to engage with someone at precisely the right time and place.
Step 3: Real-World Analytics
Geofences and beacons together are complimentary solutions. Once you have an array of both active comes the real fun part (especially for the data-geeks in your organization). The range of new insights these technologies provide can be profound and mind blowing. In itself, the analytics capabilities may be all that certain enterprises are interesting in attaining initially.
With these location solutions come an unprecedented ability to understand how customers interact with their physical locations, and what their behavioral trends may be. Drawing the analogy to digital sites (e.g., web sites), every modern enterprise puts significant time and energy to understand traffic flow and usage behavior, and takes these touchpoints to further optimize and improve the property. How a modern enterprise evaluates their physical sites should not be any different.
You can learn more about what some of Gimbal analytics capabilities are by checking out our post here.
Step 4: Omni-channel programs
Omni-channel marketing, once a thing of myth like the holy grail, is suddenly becoming reality. Talk to any marketing executive and an Omni-channel strategy is likely a top priority and something they are trying to implement across their organization at neck-breaking speed. In many instances, the Gimbal solution can fill the void in these programs by layering in real world insights created by our macro and micro-location tools.
Because of that, the fourth and final step to using using location is to plug it in with disparate systems and data sets- such as CRMs and other marketing automation platforms. This enables enterprises to have a more unified view on customers whether they are interacting with them through digital or brick-and-mortar channels. It also allows them to seamlessly trigger smart experiences that use the aforementioned insights to make engagements individualized, personalized and relevant.
While the roadmap and deployment strategy will vary client-to-client, the four steps mentioned above should serve as a good starting point to begin considering implementations for your own enterprise. Most importantly, your program should be guided by clear business objectives, and KPIs to define and measure success (some more ideas on that can be seen here).
Still have questions? Reach out and talk to an expert on our team, and we will gladly discuss how our solution can meet your needs.