iBeacons Are In The Driver’s Seat Of a Whole New Type of Personalized Shopping Experience.
“If shopping at a store meant that I could have a personalized shopping experience like I do when shopping at online stores, then I am in!”
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Remember when we couldn’t wait for the Sunday paper to be delivered to our front porch. I remember running down to the corner newsstand to buy one, just so we wouldn’t miss out on the latest deals, sales of the week, events, comics and clipping out the weekly coupons to my favorite restaurant and grocery stores.
Advertising back then was pretty straight forward… Nowadays the bigger the marketing ad, the bigger the cost in doing so. While that may have been OK for the bigger well-known food chains, because they could afford bigger newspaper ads or The Yellow Pages and a huge billboard with an average cost of about $5000. So, what about the smaller businesses owner trying to get their start into the market? Or the Ma’ and Pop’s Shops who just want to let people know “Hey we are out here too”. We present to you the iBeacon!
Marc Garrett, Owner of MB2 Access Llc. an advertising agency located in Riverside California stated that,
“An iBeacon is like a lighthouse, It only sends a notification out to the customers smartphone or device and they receive a notification, similar to a text message, and only when they come within a certain proximity of the beacons physical location. The applications for this tech is limitless and may provide being a more useful tool for businesses then they even realize at the moment.”
What is an iBeacon
Todays iBeacon is a intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location. A small Bluetooth radio transmitter, repeatedly transmits a signal that other devices can see… A Bluetooth equipped device like a smartphone can “see” a Beacons signal once its in range.
I know you will agree that the consumer will not be putting their smartphones and mobile device down anytime soon. However, when a person is searching for you or a business similar to yours how do you currently expect them to find you? Do you rely on Google’s algorithm or Facebook’s’ community, do you have a budget to pay for these services and many like it? There is no wrong answer but keep in mind that these devices have now become our consumers very own personal consulting devices!
What is iBeacon Communication
iBeacon communication mainly consists of advertisements sent through small packets of data. The communication is one-way-only, meaning retailers can connect with customers, but those receiving ibeacon messages on their smartphones cannot reply. But there is a to collect customer data that helps build your database list. The iBeacons have a place holder built into the device that stores a unique URL. This URL is the “Landing Page” that you can design with a contact form, a video and images of your product to help drive people to buy your products, and can even be designed to have a discount or coupon code sent to the subscribers email to be redeemed immediately or at a later date.
“According to a 2015 research on mobile behavior by Smart insights, one of their findings is this, the mobile media time spent is significantly 89% greater than the desktop and other digital media usage.”
Ultimately you are capitalizing on an already heavily used device that people are used to and wont throw away. Capturing your audience’s attention now is as simple as sending a nearby notification to them, no app to download and no previous engagement is required.
iBeacon Technology Is Changing Everything
iBeacons are said to have the potential to revolutionize the whole customer experience market. It is being considered one of the most important pieces of the mobile-shopping industry. Giving companies a more effective way to engage with their consumers but also gives customers the easiest and effortless way to be in touch with their favorite brands.
iBeacon technology can tell how far away a user is from a physical beacon. Its technology has proven to be effective as the bridge between brick and mortar retailers and customers glued to their phones. It’s a new way to engage with consumers and provide incentives for a shopper to enter a particular store and incentivize them to make a purchase. Retailers might also offer shoppers personalized discounts, rewards and recommendations sent directly to their smartphones from the iBeacons their self.
In 2016, Rite Aid deployed the beacon technology at more than 4,500 of its U.S. stores its success was astonishing. The iBeacon technology helped guide shoppers around a store pointing out items on shelves and turning up profits the retailer chain did not anticipate.
Physically The iBeacon is as Plain as it Gets
Image Courtesy of: MarTechToday
There are several sizes and types of Beacons on the market, you may have heard of a few of them.. These existing Beacons have been developed by Apple, Google, Eddystone, Kontakt.io and a few others. The is not new technology but you have probably just started hearing about it lately, let me tell you why. Some of the early beacons had a number of problems. The main reason being that it’s a proprietary standard that only works with iDevices. This means it’s cutting out half of the US smartphone market and 80% of the worldwide smartphone market. Meaning that its a spotty signal and only works with certain newer smart devices, but not for long!
Let me tell you about the newest in iBeacon technology the The Eddystone Beacon.
The EDDYSTONE Beacon, is an open source beacon format designed primarily for public use and to blast out information to everyone in range. It uses bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for direct, point to point communication and its Google’s cross-platform standard combines the best of the Apple iBeacon and The Physical Web. One of the big differentiator is the Eddystone supports multiple “frame types” – basically data payloads that can perform a variety of functions.
What can the Eddystone iBeacon and its technology do for your business.
The beacon-based apps are as relevant for small businesses as is for big ones, since they can cater to their customers directly and make new customers aware of their presence, completely revolutionize the way someone shops, not only is it making shopping a more personalized experience, but it is creating a connection between retailers and customers. iBeacon technology will largely alter shopping habits by making them even more personalized in the future.
Beacons can also be used to analyze a consumers shopping behavior and optimize physical shopping habits. This information allows the retailer to send special offers and geofence enabled coupons. Currently in-store implementation is limited, but there is a potential for innovative applications by retailers to capture the market sending push notifications and tract them through the sensors in a customer’s smartphone, thus optimizing retail operations.
What Studies Have Shown
A study by Swirl, a beacon platform, has found that 73% of shoppers who received beacon triggered messages on their smartphone said it increased their likelihood of making a purchase during a store visit. 61% respondents said that these messages prompted them to visit the store more often. The only challenge is in delivering relevant messages at the right time to persuade customers to make a purchase when they are there. However retailers are assuring that the messages received is relevant and customers benefit from them.
Advertising by way of Pen & Paper or TV is not working anymore
I want to share a story with you, a brief conversation I had with the neighborhood mail-carrier as I bent down to help him pick up off the ground several ads that he has been putting in our mailboxes for years. I asked him, why are people just throwing these ads on the ground? He replied I am not sure, he said I feel sorry for the businesses who pay to have these ads go out to the public on a weekly basis, so anytime I have to pick them up off the ground I simply read the name or address then I mark on the inside of their mailbox, “NO ADS” and I never deliver them to their mailbox again. I replied, “and the businesses have no clue that their ads are not being looked at”!
What does it mean to personalize a shopping experience?
Image Credit: AppdevelopmentUSA
When you think about it, why is Amazon.com so successful? Amazon is an eCommerce business that offers customers a personal shopping and recommendations based on their previous purchases, searches and add to cart criteria. The iBeacon technology can do this as well but in a real life context of brick-and-mortar store! Everything from coupons, deals and product are tailored to individual customer preferences and shopping habits. This not only helps develop long-term customers loyalty, but a more engaging shopping experience as well. While you employ sales associates, they can’t always be available to help every customer in every aisle. So with the Personalized shopping experience through the iBeacon technology this helps bridge the gap and increase sales that are relevant to the individual. How amazing is that!
Is an iBeacon Affordable?
Compared to some of the other tech hardware and software, the iBeacon technology is affordable to adopt. The tech is also relatively easy to set up, install and start using, making it a low-risk and worthwhile product to try out. The trick is managing the technology to create that tailored shopping experience for your customers. To get you set up with iBeacons you need an experienced, knowledgeable tech person contact the amazing programmers at MB2access.com to discuss all of your options. You will see all the benefits the beacon technology add to your profits.
Post Featured Image Credit Belongs to: SpaceOTechnologies
Article Written By Blogger Doreen R. for MB2 Access Llc.
5 Simple Tips for Creating a Flyer with Adobe Illustrator
Hi i’m James, the Lead Graphic Designer at MB2Access.com and I am here to share with you some tips that I use when creating many of our flyers for our clients and events.
Do you have an event coming up for your business? Did you know that flyers are still a great way to send your message home with you’re perspective clients. In this short post I will go over 5 Useful Tips that have helped me when designing corporate and event flyers using Adobe Illustrator!
Adobe Illustrator vs. Photoshop… Which is best?
You’re probably thinking, why use Illustrator to create a flyer vs anything else? For starters, Adobe Illustrator is primarily used for Vector based designs, where as Adobe Photoshop is primarily used for Raster based renderings. Vector designs are better and more efficient to use when creating flyers, because Vector based designs hold all of the resolution and quality no matter what size the file is in. This especially beneficial if you’re creating elements for a flyer that you also want to use in multiple formats or on a larger scale (i.e. banners). Raster based designs only retain the resolution for the originally created size, so reusing elements for larger sizes become problematic and can cause degradation of image quality.
Tip #1 – Know your Message
This may seem like an obvious tip, but more often times than not, clients (business owners) have trouble with explaining exactly what they want until they see it. The “Call to Action” you know the “Message” is the reason why their flyer is being created in the first place.
Think about it, How do you want to your message to relate your audience? Before you get started consider these questions, this will help you decide what the flyer should look like and what it should say:
- Who is my Audience?
- What do I want to tell my audience?
- Why is it this message important?
- Benefits and features about the product / event
- Where is this Product / Event?
- When is the promotion / event available?
- Contact information ( address, phone number, email, social media)
“Always put your website on everything. This is how people will get to know more about you”
Tip #2 – Setting up your Document
What determines what type of file format you should use is what “Will the end result be?” Do you want to advertise the flyer online, social media, as a printed flyer, brochure or a large format banner or vehicle wrap. All of these types of output formats will each have their own set of the following values below:
- Typically the File Format you would use is CMYK for Print and RGB for Web.
- What Dimensions will you need depends on the output required for the best fit (i.e. Facebook, Instagram and email blast all require slightly different dimensions to fit perfectly on there platforms)
- Usually you will use 72dpi for web, 150dpi for print and 300dpi for high resolution print.
- Images Import all necessary images used for the promotion
- Include Bleeds in all Artwork.
- What is a Bleed?
- A Bleed is a term in the design world for printing to the edge. Usually printers have a natural setting to put a ⅛ of an inch border around each print. Including a bleed prevents this from happening.
Setting up your Bleeds:
The example will be an 4×6 standard Postcard Paper size,If you want this Print to go to the full page you will need to setup your document at 4.25×6.25. The color of the background will go to the edge of the Workspace, the full 4.25×6.25. The Type and images will need to be within the bounds of the 4×6 space. I recommend using guides to stay within the boundaries which is .125 inches on each side.
Example of a bleed:
Tip #3 Typography
Typography itself is a large subject that can go on forever, but a quick tip I always consider when designing an ad or flyer is, never use more than 3 font families.
- Font style types are good way to address the importance of the message.
- Use bold for Titles and Call to Action messages.
Outlined Example & Vector Outline View:
If you are using a custom font that most computers do not have you must “Outline your typography” into vector shapes so all typography will be printed correctly.
This can easily be done by:
- Selecting all typography
- Go to Type> Create Outlines (shift+control+O for shortcut)
- This creates your raster based type into vector shapes
(Note: Save an extra version before doing this. After text is converted to vector it cannot be adjusted.) Final Print Purposes
Tip # 4 – Hierarchy of Design / Composition
Hierarchy of Design refers to placement and size of information based on importance. Look at any front to any magazine. The logo is the largest, followed by the headlines, then the details of those headlines, then the fine print is usually page numbers to where the headline could be found or contact info for the magazine.
The same approach needs to be used when creating a Flyer.
- What is the most important message you want your audience to read first?
- Then what is the second?
- And the Third?
- Placement is important, Only have clutter if it is intentional. (rare)
- Allow the images to be big enough for viewing but not overpowering to pull from the message.
- The image should support the message.
- Alignment of text is important make sure your text lines up and looks professional
- Use Color blocks as elements of brand, usually used with the accent or primary colors of the company to unify the brand of the company.
Tip# 5 Know the Pen Tool
The Pen Tool is one of the most essential tools of Adobe Illustrator. The pen tool provides the artist to create vector based icons, buttons, or even abstract element in your flyer making it more unique. This is a great way of creating color blocks that are not the normal shape that we see everyday. (square, circle, ect.)
Tips on the Pen Tool
Remember once you start a shape you always want to finish on the anchor point that you start on. This allows the shape to become sealed allowing for an inside fill color.
Click + Hold + then Drag to create your Straight lines to curve
Parts of the Pen Tool
- Pen Tool- To place Anchor Points (points of adjustment on shapes)
- +Add Anchor Point Tool – Add an Anchor point to Pen Line
- -Delete Anchor Point Tool – Remove Excess Anchor points from Pen Line
- Anchor Convert Tool – Create the straight line from the Pen Tool into a curved line.
These are just a few tips that have helped me in all of my designs but there is always much to learn.
Thank you for taking the time to read my 5 Useful Tips for Creating a Flyer using Adobe Illustrator… If you have a project, event or need any flyers, magazines or business cards custom designed please feel free to reach out to the team at MB2Access.com (917) 818-2544.
Slow website speeds are hurting your business, so why not get a website Audit to find out how it can be fast again!
So you paid a company to make a great website or you designed it all on your own, but now you worry that you are not getting the business you want because your website speed is too slow for modern-day browsers and you didn’t know that you had to pay extra for a speed booster to optimize your website speed… Now what?
We don’t presume to make any assumptions about why your website speed is slow but we will definitely take a look at the cause by identifying a few key areas that may be the cause of your slow website performance issues.
Some of the most common reasons are kind of frustration to understand and even more annoying to fix especially if you do not have the time to research each aspect of the cause of the slow website issues, a limited knowledge of server and database handling and a budget to use a program to get a portion of the job done. That and a few other reasons is why we are offering a chance for you to get a discount on letting us take a look at your website, You know let us get under the hood and see whats really going on… We will give you a detailed report of the issues and then let you know what needs to be done to fix the cause behind the sluggishness of your website.
Once we run your website thru our trusted system of metrix we can determine what is causing what to happen both on the back end and on the front end. Many issues can be simple to fix, if you know where to go to fix them. Other issues may be a bit more complex and thats OK because we have the resources, knowledge and manpower to fix the causes of slow websites.
Just in case you are wondering what some of the reasons are we have made a list:
- Images too large and not compressed
- Code density (too many lines of code to read)
- Text graphics (old way of doing business)
- Slow / Outdated server
- Server location
- Lots of website traffic (its a good problem to have 😉 )
- Too many files need to load
- Redirects / Broken Links
- Outdated / Non-Compatible Plugins
- Outdated CMS (for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal)
Now that you know that there is a few reasons for slow website speeds we need to determine whether or not you want to get the problem fixed… Would you like a FREE Website Audit? CLICK HERE for YES!
We get a lot of request for audits and know that this is very important to you which is why you may feel free to contact us directly to get bumped up on the list for a small fee... Just use “Website Audit” in your subject line and send us a message to INFO@MB2ACCESS.COM
7 Email Campaign Tips That Will Get You Noticed
You have approximately one second before your email recipient decides to delete you forever or mark you as junk.
Fortunately, Your goal with your subject line is to have your reader open the email. You want to make sure that your subject line is a big enough attention grabber, informative all while being short and to the point.
Here are 6 subject lines to consider before you send your next marketing email:
- Make them relate: Create a subject line that is relatable to what is going on right now. Keep in mind of the seasons, holidays and other big events. “Ready for Summer Vacation?” or “Spend that Tax Refund”.
- Urgency: No one likes to be rushed and when someone tells you, you better hurry, you instinctively want to hurry. Give your readers a sense of urgency by creating a subject line like this “Only 24 hours!” or “Last chance to see it”
- What’s in it for them: First thing we as humans want to know before we purchase something is, how it will benefit for me. So depending on the product or business create a subject line that tells your reader how it can help them, “Clear skin is near” or “You have money saving options”.
- Shorter the better: Make it short and sweet. These work more than you realize. Readers are enticed by the lack of information that they want more. Try “Read me” Or “Discounted Prices.”
- Must Have It: We want what we can’t have. State that they must have something or else. “This season’s must have handbag” or “Don’t be the last to find out”.
- Laughable: Who doesn’t love a good pun? Take a look at your business and product and think of a fun way to play with the words. If you have a pet grooming business, “Purr-fect Prices” or a plumbing business, “Seal your crack”.
- Make it Unique: If someone does in-fact decide to open your email its not guaranteed to make them click on any link or ready any article so make your emails unique and interesting to read… you never know what will get your readers to convert unless you try new things!
Whatever you do and whatever path you choose in your subject line reaction, make it unforgettable and enjoyable. Keep it short and informative and you are sure to stay out of the trash bin.
Here is an article from Kissmetrics I recommend you read for beginner email marketers! Read More
So how can you put into effect a dynamic relatable email marketing campaign without sacrificing the hard work it took to gather and compile your email subscriber list? Keep it fresh and relevant with “Targeted Segmentation Marketing” it’s a fancy way of saying that you are only going to send emails to people who have already interacted or “Opened and/ or Clicked” on past emails or links to your products or services.
Why do we subscribe to unsubscribe, one reason is peer pressure and another reason is sometimes we all like something just enough to get “tricked” to putting our names on that list… The FREE e-book download, that 25% Off coupon, or maybe the Video I just had to watch so I needed to skip all of the ads!
Whatever made us subscribe originally we probably weren’t really that interested in the first place, but the good news there is a chance to regain and retain these particular subscribers “if” we’re paying close enough attention.
Email marketing has grown an astonishing 43% each year since 2002 as a profitable means of marketing. It presents more opportunities for your business and drives a better return on investments. Weather you are big or small you can create deeper relationships with a wider audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media but paired with print media and social media marketing your email campaigns will be 10 times more effective in visibility when closing the sale with customers that will believe and trust your brand.
Email Automation is a simple yet effective trick that can save you thousands dollars and tons of time when thanking customers after they have clicked that Subscribe button, but don’t think that they are a customer for life you need to give a little to gain a lot.
Here are some points to consider when a customer makes the decision to “Subscribe” to your e-blast or newsletter… Never expect a customer to just give you their information or a commitment without getting something in return, one recommendation is to Make them an offer they can’t refuse! Such offers consists of a generous discount usually 25% or more. A FREE Download such as an E-book, or digital PDF of additional tips and tricks to help make their life easier. Include a Discount Code which helps with tracking who’s using and who’s not, and lastly get a nice Coupon designed and ask your customers to Print it out and bring it into your store. All of these examples are great ways to help your customers re-engage with your brand and increase sales.
Take into consideration all of the above and don’t be afraid to try new things or email templates to help boost the open/ click rate. Experimentation with text heavy, image heavy or balanced content is really going to be crucial in gaining the attention you deserve.
Give it a try and let us know what works for your emails by sending us a detailed description of your email campaign and what worked for you.
When using “Welcome emails” it makes your company look like it’s going above and beyond for thanking someone for a purchase and giving them more information. They make people feel excited about joining your community.
Don’t ever try to tell me that welcome emails aren’t relevant to your business, no matter what industry you are in these emails can be sent after someone makes a purchase, subscribes to your newsletter, or downloads material from your site. Trust me this approach will work. Unfortunately, few businesses take the time to nurture customers after they’ve already made a purchase. Retaining customers so they gush about your services to their family and friends and come back to you in times of need is a top priority.
So, why not start with how you welcome people into your business? Personalized welcome emails can do a lot to inspire customers to stick with you. Crafting email campaigns that graciously accept new customers into your business to kick off our long and happy relationships. Emails start relationships off on solid ground, shows customers you care, and set you up for a more long-term selling approach that benefits both of you.
In closing, not all email subscribers are alike nor are their email clients (Gmail, Yahoo, Ymail, SBCglobal, AOL, etc) so be aware that images and links will sometimes show up as just an outline of squares or an “x” once your email gets to their inbox. You have to let your customers know to “Allow emails to be sent from this sender” otherwise your customers will not be able to see the content of your beautiful emails.
Click to see the article that was published (revised – Page 62)
Starting up a new business and doing it so you are not wasting time or money, you need an effective strategy, you need a marketing plan.
Essential components of a marketing plan that keeps the sales pipeline full.
- Market research. Research is absolutely one of the most important aspects and the backbone of any marketing plan. Believe it or not your local library is a great place to start, with all the reports it has to offer like Standard and Poor’s or IBIS World. Finding consumer buying habits in the industry, market size, market growth or decline, and any current trends.
- Target market. A well-designed target market description finds your most likely buyers. In addition, you should discuss at least two or three levels of segmentation.
- Positioning. In the marketplace what is the feeling of your brand? Develop compelling branding and marketing messages that communicate with how you want to be perceived, this could mean the difference in how the market (customers) sees your brand. (i.e. Example: If you are a restaurant who sells beef, do customers see you as the place to go for a plain old hamburger or the place to go if you have got an appetite for a nice big black angus steak?
- Competitive analysis. Knowing who your competitors are and what makes your products and services different. Knowing the ins and outs of your competitors will help you better position your business and stand out from the competition. Like what price point are they selling at, what segment of the market are they aiming to reach? Understanding of this will certainly set your business apart from the rest of your competitors.
- Market strategy. Ask yourself this, “How will I find and attract my most likely buyers?” This is the core of what your marketing strategies path is and to your sales goals. With, explain your core goal should look at the entire marketplace and then breakdown specific tactics including such as events, direct mail, email, social media, content strategy, street teams, coupons, webinars, seminars, partnerships, and other activities that will help you gain access to customers.
- Budget. Develop a month-by-month schedule of what you plan to spend on marketing, Also, you may want to include a “red light” decision point. For each activity, setting up a metric that tells you to STOP if it is not generating enough return on investment (ROI).
- Metrics. Track your marketing success with Google Analytics for website conversions and a simple Excel sheet to compare your budget against the actual ROI. Testing programs within a 30 to 60-day period, and evaluating the results. Repeating any programs that are delivering sales or sign-ups to your email list, and do not hesitate to get rid of anything that is not.
Having a sound Marketing Plan will help you get started. If you are not bringing in leads you may need a better marketing plan. One day you may want to pitch your business to potential investors so just knowing your business is only the tip of the iceberg.