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Enhance your Content Marketing Strategy with iBeacon

By now, we all know that publishing high quality content is king to acquiring more customers and driving more people to your company’s store or website. And yes, there are supposedly optimal times to post updates and information on social media in order to capture the attention of customers at an opportune time.

But what if amidst all the types of media and information a customer receives each day, you are able to instantly deliver content to them when they are most likely to act upon it? No, we don’t mean having it appear at the top of their news feeds. More like when they are in a certain section of a store deciding on whether or not to make a purchase. Get ready to take your content marketing strategy to the next level with iBeacon technology.

iBeacon is an indoor positioning system that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to notify nearby smart devices of its presence. Beacons are placed throughout stores and venues to determine a customer’s location and used to deliver content or a form of interaction directly to their smartphones. For example, a customer browsing in a store can receive additional product information or discounts when standing in the shoes department. But the application for iBeacon expands beyond retail. For example, providing VIP services for privileged guests at a hotel, navigation through a museum, treasure hunt games and activities – the list goes on.

While the current focus for content marketing is in developing and sharing amazing content online, it’s also possible to deliver quality content to customers in an offline setting (i.e. in a store). Businesses can now strategically market and distribute valuable content to customers based on their location or proximity to certain items. This location aware application enables marketers and businesses to redefine the customer experience and provide them with content that is actually meaningful.

This offers content marketers the ability to know exactly where their customers are and immediately engage them with timely, relevant, and valuable interactions. While quality of content is superior, timing in delivery is equally as important in driving profitable customer action.

The entire marketing realm has changed these past few years but there is no doubt that it is the age of the consumer. Modern content marketing initiatives gets the consumer’s attention, but content marketing with iBeacon has the potential to not only attract but to convert customers from window shoppers to loyal customers.

Kickstart your content marketing strategies with iBeacon today! Visit https://passkit.com/buy-ibeacon/ to get started.

By Wendy Chan

3 Things to Consider When Buying iBeacon Hardware

iBeacon has been a hot topic lately and everyone is rushing to get their hands on their own set of beacons. We are so pleased to see many businesses, institutions, and agencies integrate iBeacon technology and deliver extraordinary customer experiences. But before your business decides on making bulk purchases of beacon hardware, there are a few things you should consider.

gemtot beacons

1. Battery Life & Compliance

When Apple first announced iBeacons at the 2013 WWDC, it was widely publicised that beacons devices could run on a single coin-cell battery for as long as 1 to 2 years. However, Apple’s Proximity Beacon Specification document released in late February, requires beacons to broadcast their signal at frequencies significantly higher than the 1 to 2 seconds that these battery life estimates were based upon. Having tested several battery-powered beacons at Apple’s suggested broadcast frequencies, we’ve discovered that the battery life of coin-cell beacon models can be as little as 2 months.

As a consequence of this, early adopters of beacon hardware may run into some challenges in the coming few months. The first challenge is in the inevitable replacement of batteries, which in the long run would pose as a maintenance headache. The second issue lies in compliance. Early adopters may have purchased beacon hardware that are not compliant with Apple’s new specifications and may need to end up replacing them in the future.
 While all beacon hardware currently available works with Apple’s CoreLocation APIs, only hardware that conforms to Apple’s specifications are guaranteed to work with future versions of iOS.

Fortunately, beacon hardware can come in many different forms – USB dongles, computers, coin-cell powered gadgets – and can be powered by batteries or a fixed power source. For example, GemTot Beacons are USB beacons that are licensed iBeacon technology that can be powered by any standard USB port.

2. Location, Location, Location

Unlike GPS which only function accurately outdoors, iBeacon uses Bluetooth to listen for devices within close proximity. Beacons can work indoors, outdoors, and underground. Because of this versatility, businesses should be diligent and aware of the environment in which beacons are placed.

One challenge is for businesses who want to deploy beacons outdoors, such as in stadiums or parks, which are susceptible to weather conditions such as rain, snow, and humidity. Current models of iBeacon come in many forms. Beacons that will be placed outdoors should ideally be encased with waterproof material.

There are tradeoffs between using a beacon with a fixed power source (that takes care of the battery maintenance issue) and a wireless, waterproof beacon (that takes care of outdoor beacon deployment issues). The most ideal solution is to use a combination of USB beacons and wireless, battery-powered beacons with waterproof encasing. That way, businesses are able to leverage both the benefits of these types of beacons without too much of a compromise. It also makes it easier for businesses to manage beacons in the future – indoors and outdoors.

We will be releasing GemTot battery powered beacons that are weather-proof, so please be sure to visit this blog for the latest updates.

3. Management of Beacons

Every iBeacon device is identified by its unique ID, or UUID, and can also include its major and minor values. These values can change, and perhaps should change from time to time (see our video on security issues with iBeacon), but it would be a hassle manually retrieving and updating these beacons.

There needs to be a system that helps businesses remotely manage their network of beacons. Whether it’s updating the firmware or changing the UUIDs, it’s especially important for large scale beacon deployments in areas such as shopping malls, stadiums, or airports. GemTot Beacons are fully over-the-air configurable and make it easy for businesses to update information on these beacons.

Future-Proofing

At the end of the day, you want to ensure that the beacons you are purchasing will give you the best, hassle-free experience – both for your customers and yourself. Are your beacons future-proof?

Let us know if you have any comments or questions on iBeacon hardware. Whether you’re just getting started with iBeacon or are considering using it in business, feel free to visit out our comprehensive iBeacon page to learn more. If you’re want to buy beacons today, check out our newest product, GemTot Beacons.

3 Reasons Why Mobile Wallet Should Be A Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

It has been a long-standing routine to check that we have our phone, keys, and wallet with us before leaving our house and starting our day. Sure, we may keep other items in our pockets or bag but these are the essentials. Given that our phones now provide us with everything we need to survive digitally (i.e. reading the news, sending e-mails, browsing the web), it’s probably not long from now that our phone will replace our wallet.

Mobile wallet is an app that allows consumers to store, organize, and access digital wallet content. From loyalty cards to gift cards, tickets to coupons, these non-payment items usually found in physical wallets are stored in the mobile wallet app on a smartphone. The biggest mobile wallets out there are Apple Passbook, Samsung Wallet, and Google Wallet. PassKit provides support for these wallets and any future native wallet app. To get started, visit http://create.passkit.com/ to create beautiful mobile wallet content.

Parks Associates predicts that 43% of all smartphone users will be mobile wallet users by 2017. In only a few years time, we could be seeing all transactions and interactions in stores taking place directly through the mobile phone. Soon enough, physical wallets will fail to meet all our needs for convenience and efficiency.

mobile wallet app usage

1. Brand presence in your customers’ smartphone

Mobile wallet is not only convenient and efficient for customers but is also a frictionless way for businesses to get into customers’ smartphone and stay there. Businesses can leverage mobile wallet’s geo-location features to deliver highly relevant messages and promotions directly to customers’ phones, capturing their attention at the right place and time. By getting your brand into the prime real estate of the smartphone, you are able to increase brand awareness and incite action when it is most likely to occur.

2. Customers expect personalized offers and experiences

Businesses can also use iBeacon technology to deliver proximity based experiences that entice customers to spend. Loyalty-driven initiatives are all about business-to-consumer engagement. Customers now expect offers to be personalized, relevant, and valuable to them, rather than just mass marketing that is viewed as spam. With iBeacon, you are able to deliver unique and amazing customer experiences based on when your customers enter your store, linger in a certain section, as they shop, and even when they leave.

3. It’s no longer B2C, it’s H2H (Human to Human)

Mobile wallet offers the opportunity for businesses to better understand customers preferences and behaviors. It couldn’t be emphasized more that the focus should be on the customer experience. Defining and delivering that amazing customer experience is crucial to increasing customer loyalty and building brand recognition. If the experience you provide your customer is sub-par, what incentives are in place to keep customers coming back?

As we’re all aware, one bad experience is enough to get customers turning the other way. A great, or even magical customer experience, however, is sure to be remembered. Distributing mobile wallet content and leveraging iBeacon solutions provides a seamless way to build close, personal relationships with customers. Don’t fall behind; lead the mobile wallet revolution.

By Wendy Chan

PassKit CEO’s new office

CEO-Office

Our CEO just got back from hospital yesterday – from a rather long winded surgery to repair his ruptured Achille’s Tendon and subsequent wound infections. To ensure that the wound heels quickly, Paul still needs to keep his foot elevated above his heart. Does that keep him from his favourite hobby and passion? Absolutely not.

You’ll see from the image that Paul is still as happy as ever (we won’t use the word infectious!). He’s working as many hours as normal helping the PassKit team, partners and clients to make magical moment for their customers.

We are all missing Paul across the PassKit offices, but thanks to the smartphone and internet we’re never really disconnected from him.

Get well soon Paul.

What is your Passion?

Good morning PassKit’ers.

While lying in bed recovering from my second operation on my achilles tendon rupture, I read with great interest in Facebook’s purchase of ‘Oculus’.

As I read the article, I am of course excited to hear what the technology can and may be able to do but I am most excited to learn of the founders and employees undying passion for their technology.  And it caused me to pause and check in with my own passion and your passion.

Live passionately image

We all have different experiences, views, skills and ways of solving problems but we are all guided by one light; by one major problem in life today:

truly disastrous retail experiences for every single one of us.

Try and think of one experience you’ve had that was truly magical, seamless, beautiful and amazing. Be honest. Not just a good experience like checking in to a 5 star hotel but an end to end experience that truly blows you away.

As Nick, our CTO, often says our offering is the only proven solution in the world that allows business to offer the most seamless offline-online-offline-online experience. To deliver magic for their customers.  Our technology enables magical moments!

Are you really passionate about that? Do you want to fundamentally transform the “retail experience”. Because that’s what we are doing. It is transformational.

You are not developing and selling a product.

You are creating and inspiring a new way of life.

A new joy. A way of life. In 10 years time people will look back and marvel at the “cuteness” of paper coupons, plastic cards being swiped, they will laugh at the memory of sales people pushing product because they didn’t truly understand their preferences, they will cringe at the thought of the standardised, non personalised experience they suffered, the friction they encountered when paying, the queues, the wasteful resources, the damage to their suit lining from thick wallets and the painful non integrated online to offline experience etc.

How are you going to move the transformation forward today? Share the vision for others, fill in the colours, lead.

With overflowing passion,

Paul Tomes
Co-Founder and CEO
PassKit
#PFR