eMarketer: More than a Buzzword, Beacon Technology Promises to Catch On

An Interview With: Jeff Malmad, Managing Director, Head of Mobile and Life+, Mindshare North America

Beacons have been around for almost two years, but aside from being a much-used buzzword, the technology has not been adopted by many. Jeff Malmad, managing director and head of mobile and life+ at Mindshare North America, recently spoke with eMarketer’s Rimma Kats about the future of beacons and whether the hype has died down.

eMarketer: Beacons have been around for about two years. Is that enough time to declare it a failure?

Jeff Malmad: Although beacons have been around for two years, we’re still so early on in the world of connected everything and the internet of things (IoT) that we are learning.

Beacons are not going to go away. Sensor-based technology is going to continue to grow and expand and proliferate in retail, out-of-home and workplace environments.

Google recently announced that they’re deploying their own type of beacon open-sourced system that’s going to work with iBeacons, as well as an open-source that they’ve developed called Eddystone, which will give more scale to beacons outside of just iOS devices. Those with an Android device will be able to receive push notifications triggered off of beacons as well in the very near future.

eMarketer: What’s the ideal use case for beacons?

Malmad: We leveraged beacons recently for a campaign we did that would allow consumers to learn about recipe inspiration while they’re in [the grocery store] aisle. When consumers walked down the aisle, we pushed a notification giving them recipe inspiration from the company we were working with.

You’re going to start seeing a lot more of that. One of the things we don’t want to happen in the world of beacons is what we call “notification numbness.” Notification numbness is pushing too many messages to people within the beacon environment, or in the push notification environment, that’s going to get consumers to actually turn off those notifications being delivered to their device.

 Read the full interview on eMarketer. Plus, see more from Jeff in eMarketer's new report, "Beacons for Retailers: Beyond the Hype."