By: Dave Heinzinger
In 2007, pre-iPhone, many of us would have failed to predict exactly how far we would evolve regarding interpersonal communication, consumer behavior and pure tech reliance. For anyone who has lived and breathed communication over the past 10 years, the changes have been rapid, sweeping, consolidating and sometimes surprising. Many of us have gone from “why text when I could call?” to “don’t call me unless it’s an emergency” in that span.
Today, our reliance on mobile and our “always online” mentality have carved a path for marketers and communicators across industries to engage us in new ways. The traditional touch points are gone, supplanted by a magic window into consumer behavior that goes everywhere and does everything for us.
Heavy mobile reliance coupled with improved micro-location tech and better conversational UI have sparked a new trend that shows no signs of slowing down: responsive environments.
What are responsive environments?
At inMarket, our tech stack creates responsive environments in thousands of commerce locations using the smartphone as the interface. In a nutshell, we produce and maintain beacons -- small bluetooth sensors -- in locations ranging from retail to restaurants to bars. We partner with top brands to proactively engage people on their phones precisely when they enter a location, or passively to understand the consumer journey and predict when shoppers are “due” for their next store visit or night out.
Beacon tech helps marketers deliver impactful messages when the consumer is most receptive and eliminates wasted advertising. Meanwhile, major brands like Citibank have leveraged similar tech in their ATM kiosks, while Starwood Hotels & Resorts has tested it to improve the guest experience.
But beacons in commerce locations are just the tip of the iceberg. Responsive environments are now being created by voice-controlled devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Simply by placing these devices in a room, consumers are flipping on digital benefits -- like music, search or product ordering -- via conversational UI. As the centerpiece of the automated home, voice-controlled devices could be a potential hotbed for branded engagement into the next decade.