Get ready for your real-world shopping to follow you onto your Facebook page.
Everyone has been chased around the internet by a pair of shoes or a piece of furniture you’ve researched online. Thanks to a slew of startups, efforts by Google and advances in Bluetooth, the next time you research a product at a Best Buy you might find it linked to your online presence through Facebook tags or Google AdWords links.
I went to Bluetooth World a couple weeks ago expecting to see the future of mesh networking using Bluetooth, but came back with a rather scary view into the future of advertising. There, I met a startup called Beeem that is providing what looks like a content management system for Bluetooth beacons.
The idea is that stores and offices with beacons will need a way to easily change the content associated with each beacon, so Beeem has built a platform for employees or marketers to log in and easily change the content.
For example, a Starbucks manager could get a login to the platform to control the messages and deals the store’s beacons display on patrons’ phones when they are in the store. This is fine and undoubtedly necessary if beacons are to become commonplace in retail or even as a navigation tool inside buildings.
The unsettling part is that Beeem’s CEO Ferenc Brachmann told me that its platform can offer retargeting from its platform to Facebook or Google. This means that when customers see information pop up on their phones and then click on the message, they are sharing the physical data about where they are and what they are clicking on in the real world with the virtual worlds who have their profile.
If you visit a Macy’s and click on a message delivered in the shoe department, it signals to Macy’s that you are interested in shoes…an interest that can then track you across your Facebook page and the web. When I said this seemed a bit creepy, Brachmann told me that the act of clicking on the original message from the Beacon acted as a form of opting in and signaling the customer’s interest.
Combine this technology with an advancement in Bluetooth that allows for more data to be sent to phones as part of these beacon messages, and it’s possible we could see compelling content that gets us to click in the real world and give even more data to marketers harvesting it in the virtual one. Yay.