Time Inc. UK – formerly IPC Media – has just launched its first UK-wide campaign using Bluetooth beacon technology.
The publisher of magazines including Chat and Woman is running the campaign in partnership with the Tesco-owned One Stop convenience stores.
Shoppers who have downloaded either the One Stop or Appflare Redeem app to their smartphone will receive offers for discounts on Time Inc. UK magazines.
The technology is similar to the iBeacon, used by Apple in its stores. However other retailers have been reluctant to forge ahead with the concept. Tesco trialled iBeacons earlier this year but says it is still waiting for customers to get used to the technology, while John Lewis announced that it wanted to see evidence of emotive, “romantic” responses for customers before rolling it out.
So will magazine customers embrace beacons? Paul Cheal, Group Digital Publishing Director, Time Inc. UK, answered our questions on the pioneering scheme.
- Q: What leads you to believe that readers of your magazines will be open to interaction in this way?
A: Over 2m Time Inc. UK customers visit their local retailer every week. Smartphone adoption in the UK continues to accelerate. iBeacons offer a logical way to start to bring together proven consumer engagement and in-store marketing opportunities.
- Q: There’s been some reluctance among some retailers to start using beacons – do you think consumers are ready for this?
A: Retailer reluctance is understandable – everyone wants to avoid a scenario where consumers are so bombarded with messages in store that they switch notifications off. We definitely see this as the early stages of iBeacon usage and we are keen to learn more about how consumers engage with iBeacons so that we can continue to improve and better target our propositions.
- Q: Will there be opportunities for your advertisers to take part in beacon messaging?
A: If iBeacon usage amongst consumers starts to scale then yes we can see opportunities here.