We’ve said it enough times - but the mobile app really is changing the way we interact with the brands we love. But if you thought that influence was limited to the digital environment: you’d be wrong. Take bricks and mortar retail. The smartphone - and mobile app - deliver all sorts of opportunities for building a richer, more personal experience that drives ‘real-world’ revenues.

To take one example, which I’ll look at in detail here, the combination of iBeacons and push notifications and in-app campaigns means all sorts of exciting possibilities. In the rest of this short piece we’ll look at what some of those are.

What is an iBeacon?

iBeacons are a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby mobile devices of their presence. But more specifically, that opens up a new and powerful ability for brands to reach consumers through ‘proximity marketing’. At Swrve we’re very excited at the power iBeacons are going to give mobile app marketers, so when I got the chance to sit down with Navid Zolfaghari, CEO of pinpoint, a startup specializing in proximity marketing - I took it!

“We live in the age of the experience economy where brands are defined not by the products they sell but the experiences they create” says Navid. “For brands to fully partake in the experience economy they need to develop an omni-channel view of the consumer, and market on a 1:1 basis. Every interaction is an opportunity to further the conversation and make an impact”.

It’s easy to see why. Imagine pushing a personalized experience to the user’s phone while they are in your store - or even in a specific aisle. Or a push notification after they walk by.

We have been thinking about how to best help our customers take advantage of the obvious promise of iBeacons. Marketing is all about the right message, to the right audience, at the right time. And iBeacons take care of the ‘right time’ end of the equation better than anything that has existed before. But of course marketers still need to get the right message targeted to the right audience. And that’s where Swrve comes in. We can help our customers use already existing segmentation and thus be able to optimize and automate messaging campaigns.

One of the best ways Swrve customers can already take advantage is by triggering an in-app campaign, targeted at a Swrve segment of your choice, to fire when a user is within a certain distance of an iBeacon. You can also re-segment based on distance in real-time if you’d like to remarket to the user later.

To demonstrate just how this would work, we spent some time playing with iBeacons and Swrve at our HQ in San Francisco. We added this beacon code to our test app:


Navid had told me that “before running any proximity marketing campaign, it's important to identify why this matters to the consumers. Be sure that every communication adds value to the visit.” Taking his wise words into consideration I uploaded the following creative into the Swrve dashboard.



We want to tie the message to the event that the Beacon codes triggers.

And here’s some photos of the live test in action!


From past interactions we know Swrve SDR Natalie is a beer-lover. So she is the perfect subject for the test.


As she approaches the iBeacon the event is sent to Swrve. Since Natalie already exists in our beer-lovers segment she is eligible for the campaign and sees the message.


Upon following the instructions, Natalie has been presented with her free beer. Everyone wins.

As Navid puts it: “People forget many things, but they don't forget experiences. The collective shared experiences people have effectively become your brand.” iBeacons and mobile app marketing allow marketers more granular control over these experiences than ever before. If you want to check out how they can help YOU, drop us a line. Or if you prefer, sign up for our webinar on Thursday 17th on how iBeacons and Swrve can change your retail world!