Marketing is evolving and so are consumer expectations. They want immediate access to relevant information about what’s nearby. Here are the reasons mobile engagement is easier with the Physical Web.
Inbound marketing, in proximity: Consumers are tired of interruption marketing. The Physical Web + PHY.net does not push messages, following a trend of “calm design” for digital interactions. It’s the heart of why inbound proximity marketing works.
Less friction in customer interactions. The Physical Web’s catchphrase “walk up and use anything” perfectly describes this capability. Simple, universally available, uncomplicated access is the model of the Physical Web. Enabling direct access to contextually relevant content is what customers want.
Additional quality metrics. Because people can only interact with beacons when in proximity, marketers can attribute interactions and conversions with pinpoint accuracy.
The Physical Web enables the largest possible audience. The end goal of generating content is to make it available for a given audience. The universal nature Physical Web, with its open browsers, makes content universally available. PHY.net’s SDK (phySDK) enables apps with Physical Web browsing capabilities, making content access even more accessible to users through apps as well as browsers.
App integration. There’s no need to abandon an existing app strategy. The Physical Web SDK lets marketers easily enable native apps with the ability to access the right content in the right place, at the right time. This creates an immediate customer base for content. All of the software features are bundled with the SDK, including CoverCards™ metadata editing, image-rich browsing display, remote and scheduled redirects and much more.
Deployment is simple. Unlike iBeacon deployments, there are no requirements for maps, zones, or region monitoring. Simply place a beacon on or near what is being promoted, then direct that beacon’s destination to a website. The “easy-install” feature of PHY.net simplifies this process even further, to the point where on-site personnel can handle installations easily, vs. needing to dispatch trained installers.
Familiar User Interface. The browser’s “search results” display, where content options are listed for choice, is a standard user interface that is already familiar to consumers. Its use smooths user adoption. The integration of this familiar user interface into phySDK also simplifies app integration.
Lower ongoing administration costs. Because Physical Web beacons are tied to content rather than location, the deployment is flexible and adaptive, and can easily be managed by on-site personnel. There is no need to deal with the “brittleness” of iBeacon deployments where changes either to the beacon’s location or to the environment around it necessitate a re-calibration by trained personnel.
Complete remote management. When deployed through a platform like PHY.net, all fleet and content management function can be administered remotely. For content viewed through apps and compatible browsers, this includes the ability to manage the range at where consumers will see content.
Longer battery life. The background monitoring function of iBeacon requires the beacon to advertise more frequently than Physical Web beacons. At the recommended settings (100 ms for iBeacon vs. 700 ms for the PW), a battery-powered Physical Web beacon will last approximately 7 times longer than the same beacon configured for iBeacon.
Can be as simple or as sophisticated as needed. A complete Physical Web solution can be deployed with a single beacon for $30 or less, and can evolve into an enterprise scale, loyalty program with personalized interactions.
Based on familiar web tools. The Physical Web is based on HTML, URLs, and browser technology. In addition to the interface being familiar to consumers, content owners and developers can use the Physical Web to extend content that already exists. It is a technology built on the core superpower of the web.
Easier to develop and manage content. Because iBeacon does not specify a format for content, most iBeacon proximity apps only support push messages. However, the Physical Web defines content as URLs, embracing a well-established format. With thousands of tools for content creation and hosting (many of which are free), building a proximity marketing campaign on the Physical Web is far easier to access by a wider market of content creators.
Consumer education is shared because the user interface is universal. Anyone establishing a presence on the Physical Web, whether their content is public or private, benefits from the universality of the technology. Consumer education is shared by other content owners.
Consumers are happier with pull than push. The fact that consumer choice drives the Physical Web means that relationships are stronger. Rather than trying to anticipate a person’s needs, the Physical Web’s focus is to satisfy a person’s curiosity or an immediate need for access to information about something nearby.
No risk of alienation. By avoiding pushing the wrong message, or any message at the wrong time, the Physical Web does not carry the risks of consumer annoyance sometimes associated with iBeacon’s push messages based on anticipated needs.
Better consumer engagement strategy. The Physical Web has a singular focus on providing useful and timely information. Since each interaction serves to fulfill a customer’s need, customer satisfaction is enhanced and provides a strong platform for the deeper interactions.
More opportunities for engagement. It is often missed that an engagement strategy presents many more opportunities to interact with customers than a tracking or push messaging strategy. To limit negative reactions, push messages have to be limited. The alternative of making dozens of touch points available on the Physical Web creates more opportunities to engage and makes it more likely to have more relevant information available at the right time… at the request of the consumer.
A new marketing channel. The Physical Web works by listing content options, but the objective is not always to get the consumer to select a website. The content title or description on the search display might be a call to action (i.e. “Happy hour inside now!”), that moves the consumer to action without their visiting the underlying website.
Enhanced privacy. The browsing mode for the Physical Web is anonymous by default, allowing consumers the option of browsing privately. On the contrary, location technology like iBeacon almost always tracks a consumer’s location, causing friction with those consumers who do not want to be tracked.
Customer relationships funnel. General content can be made available to consumers with open Physical Web browsers while also presenting extra incentives those who choose to download and use a specialized (branded) app to view content. For those who use the app and are also willing to login, personalized incentives can be made available. This process allows consumers to sample content prior to moving to premium or personalized content, thus gently moving someone from being a curious shopper, to an engaged, loyal customer.
Cross promotional opportunities. PHY.net makes it easy for a beacon owner to authorize third party apps to present their alternate premium content on the same beacon network, which creates additional revenue and promotional opportunities.
Easily integrates other proximity technologies. Because it is URL based, the Physical Web can adopt any technology that can broadcast a URL, such as NFC, QR codes, or mDNS from WiFi.
Long term investment. iBeacon networks need ongoing calibration whenever a campaign or the environment around them changes, making them less viable for long term programs because of the ongoing labor involved. Alternately, the flexibility of the Physical Web, its compatibility with alternate proximity technologies and the ability to continually migrate the technology to better content and higher level customer relationships, make a Physical Web foundation, a solid long term investment.