Why Beacons? Part 1. Museums & Galleries

 Museums & Art Galleries

As part of ARworks continued commitment to assisting brands and businesses deliver exceptional customer experience through strategic Mobile App solutions and creative technology, over the next few weeks we’re going to be sharing a series of posts that list some top-line reasons why Beacon technology (and Location Based Marketing) should become a regular addition to specific industries and venues.

For this first post we’re focussing on Museums and Art Galleries. Other than retail, arguably one the most verdant environments for the many benefits Beacons bring to the table.

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What are Beacons?

In the simplest terms, Beacon is a technology that enhances location services for mobile devices.  Created to enable customers to receive hyper-relevant information on their mobiles, when they’re close to a (very) specific location. How relevant, and commercially aligned that information is, is dependent entirely on the level of data a company has about a customer, and how intelligently they use it according to where the customer is and what he’s doing.

Good example: as a member of a hotel loyalty club, I’d very much like the hotel to know when I am in the bar at one of their properties, and send me a personal message to my mobile offering me a free bottle of something fabulous, as a thank you for my continued business.

Bad example: I’d find it very frustrating, if I’d taken the time to share some of my shopping preference information with the Duty Free of my local airport, only to be pushed a message about a new make-offer for teenagers when perusing after shave, whilst shopping before my next flight.

The difference is smart personalised experiences vs. push notification nightmare.

So, here are 5 reasons why we believe Museums & Galleries should be strongly embracing Beacons:

1. Feeds Visitor passion: (Most) visitors that visit one these places are in a very high state of awareness. They are primed to be moved. Educated. Inspired. Challenged. By using Beacons to deliver extra-layers of context and multi-media, interactive content for different parts of different exhibits or artists, the experience of the visitors it taken to an entirely new level. Rendering it more profound, memorable and shareable with their friends and colleagues, and across social platforms.


2. Optimise layout and flow: By using Beacons to track visitor movement and flow around the venues, curators can make critical changes to how certain parts of exhibits are laid out. Optimising the flow and set up to match what their visitors’ behaviour is telling them.

3. Drive up Social distribution: Aside from the more highbrow, private exhibitions, having visitors share content across their social channels direct from their experience, is extremely valuable to a museum or gallery.  Adding social share buttons in a tasteful, clever and relevant way to the extra layers of multi-media content you’re gifting them via Beacons, suddenly makes that process a lot more simple and desirable for your visitors. Isn’t it very much in our human nature to seek validation and kudos by sharing genuinely exclusive things?

4. Up-selling in the souvenir shop: Usually positioned as the last port of call in such venues  (and for good reason), Beacons provide a powerful means to driving revenue from the souvenir shop. It can be as simple as drawing visitors attention to special offers. Or gifts pertaining to whatever they exhibit they have just seen. Better still, we can turn up the smarts a little and use the real-time visitor behavioural data gathered during his visit, to create custom offers based on the artists or pieces in front of which they spent the most time. The opportunities are endless.

5. Cultivating a long-term relationship: Beacons need an App to work. That can be an App created specifically for the Beacon initiative, or they can be integrated into exiting Apps Either way, the venue has real estate on their visitors phone. And that creates an opportunity to use their behavioural and preference data to cultivate a long-term relationship that has repeat-visits, peer recommendations and valuable social distribution as its end game.

From fanning the flames of curiosity and passion with exclusive layers of content, to triggering incremental spend by creating real-time offers that are unique to individual visitors. The agility and versatility embedded in Beacon technology is the main driving force behind their meteoric rise to fame in the word of direct and mobile marketing.

But it’s essential to keep in mind; there’s a fine line between smart personalised experiences, and push notification nightmare. Enhancing your customers experience by understanding their behaviour – as a human being as well as a consumer - anticipating their needs and serving them as hyper-relevant information and content as possible is Beacon-success-critical.

Written by Christian Burne. Communications Director at ARworks Middle East.

 ARworks is a leading Mobile App development company. Specializing in mainstream, strategic App development across mobile and wearable devices, and the commercial application of creation technologies such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and iBeacons.