Research Says Beacon Flops When Overdone in Mobile Marketing

Research Says Beacon Flops When Overdone in Mobile MarketingCould multiple beacon messages be a turn-off for consumers? It certainly appears so.

Newly released research indicates that marketers risk a whopping 313 percent drop in application use when more than one beacon message is delivered per location.

“On the other hand, when beacons are used as a utility, this can lead to a 500 percent increase in interactions compared to standard push notifications with location relevancy,” reports Mobile Marketer, citing data from inMarket.

The research, some of the first to address best practices in the quickly growing beacon space, underscores the need for marketers to tread carefully as they roll out their beacon strategies so they do not turn off customers with too many messages.

inMarket CEO Todd Dipaola readily admits that beacons are a very powerful tool, but he tosses in a caveat.

“You could even call it a power tool – it is like a buzz saw,” Dipaola explains. “You could use it to build a house and do something constructive or you can accidentally cut your own finger off.”

Basically, Dipaola is letting brands know that sometimes less really is more.

“Some of the data we found shows that when you have utility in your app and have these context aware experiences, you can really drive a lot of enhanced use, a lot of additional user delight,” Dipaola contends. “But if you do it the wrong way, you deliver things that aren’t relevant to people or you over message them, similarly you can drive those same users away.”

The research shows that shoppers who receive branded messages in store are 7.5 times more likely to seek out the product off the shelf than those who do not. On the other hand, a small control test to determine how often to communicate with shoppers confirmed that over-saturation and irrelevant beacon pushes caused app usage to decline and apps to be deleted.

“People are getting pop-ups multiple times as they walk through a store in different departments,” Dipaola said. “After you start talking to someone more than once while they are in store, they tend to go away and not come back,” he said.

Dipaola knows a holiday ramp up for the app is coming. The research could help marketers understand more about the fine line between Beacon’s ability to help — or to hinder.