With more and more retailers, event spaces, and others deploying Apple’s Bluetooth LE iBeacon technology in order to beam iPhone and iPad users context and location aware notifications, we still haven’t seen much data on how the beacons are improving ad engagement for marketers. InMarket, a company installing iBeacons in grocery stores around the country that talk to a number of apps from its advertising partners, today shared some of the first stats from a specific consumer brand using the platform. 

The company previously told us it experienced a 19x increase interactions with advertised products in its partner apps since rolling out iBeacon notifications and 16.5x greater app usage for those receiving a beacon notification. Today the company is sharing specific stats from one of its big brand advertising partners using the platform: Hillshire Brands. The goal for Hillshire was to drive sales of its American Craft Link Sausages product and, according to the numbers, it worked. Specifically, Hillshire Brands witnessed a 20x increase in purchase intent representing a “500% increase over the CPG average for mobile ad engagement.”

We started experimenting with location-based technologies and increased focus on mobile a year ago, recognizing that location is key to engaging with our consumers,” said David Ervin, Director of Integrated Marketing for Hillshire Brands.

Having identified that the target consumer for American Craft Link Sausage was less likely to bring in and redeem traditional print coupons in stores, Hillshire, BPN and inMarket designed a mobile-first campaign that leveraged beacon and geofence technology to identify potential customers in-store and serve them relevant, timely information that they could use immediately to shop. Consumers were alerted of American Craft in-store, and were offered them the opportunity to add the product to their shopping list, earn points for engaging with the product or coupons for purchase.

Hillshire-ibeacon-ad-02InMarket pushes the notifications to a number of partner apps using the platform like Conde Nast’s Epicurious and Gannet’s Key Ring app.

The report notes that American Craft also witnessed a “36% increase in brand awareness and a lift in overall sales” through the iBeacon campaign that lasted from April to June this year in 10 U.S. markets where inMarket has iBeacons deployed. The campaign experienced approximately 6,000 in-store engagements in its first 48 hours alone. The success of the campaign has encouraged Hillshire to extend its iBeacon campaigns to its Jimmy Dean brand of products this fall.

In some cases the stats collected through iBeacons can be just as valuable to companies as the features it offers end users. The recent Bonnaroo festival, for example, used the tech to offer concertgoers an interactive experience while collecting valuable data on how to improve the event in the future.

InMarket says its Mobile to Mortar iBeacon platform is currently the largest beacon network available to app developers, retailers and brand partners (opposed to retailers deploying their own beacons for only their own mobile apps). The beacons are currently in over 200 stores, reach around 50 million users, and the company is quickly expanding in many new markets including New York, Boston, and Miami. 

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.