Tech Start-Up Executive Asserts: Physical Web Beacons — Not iBeacons — Will Dramatically Change Marketing in 2016

Proximity marketing beacons are already revolutionizing retail and how consumers experience the world.

But one marketing technology expert says the real debate about how the shopping, working, eating, playing and living experience for consumers will improve in 2016 comes down to two words: “web” vs. “app.” And a new dimension of the Internet, the Google-inspired Physical Web, stands squarely at the debate’s center.

In his most recent blog, Richard Graves, co-founder of BKON, a tech start-up that produces beacons and software that help retailers and content owners in 40 states and 18 foreign countries manage beacons and their messages, says that for 2016, Physical Web beacons offer a broader experience and far more opportunities than apps.

“I don’t think consumers want 20 more apps, with 20 more downloads and 20 more passwords to manage,” Graves said. “They’re also annoyed by the constant stream of push messages to an already crowded Smartphone. Certainly, apps have a purpose, but they take a tremendous amount of effort and expense for content owners to develop and market and their life will be limited in the long run because of the steps required in using them. On the other hand, the Physical Web is infinitely scalable and super-simple to manage and use.”

A relatively new component of the Internet and a critical delivery vehicle for proximity marketing, the Physical Web uses an already familiar Internet as a universal way for consumers to interact with nearby smart devices using a browser and a single touch of a finger to their Smartphone instead of using an app. A cue to the Physical Web’s presence in restaurants, stores, malls, concert venues, or similar venues is usually the Physical Web symbol on a window or door sticker.

Google’s Chrome is the most prominent browser to support the Physical Web so far.

“As something of the Internet’s discovery service, the Physical Web is fostering big changes in how we interact with the world around us,” Graves said. “There are thousands of ways these Bluetooth Low Energy beacons are being used to give consumers a more diverse experience. From restaurants displaying menus and delivering coupons, to teachers enticing students to read by linking a book to an engaging video about the book’s stories, to grocery store brands giving far more detail about a product than an end cap ever could. All enticing… but it’s the ease and familiarity of access to this information that will help the Physical Web and Physical Web beacons win out over the iBeacon in 2016.”

Other industry experts including Jason Parker, digital strategy director, Leo Burnett, have similarly projected that the Physical Web and Physical Web beacons will be huge in 2016, the next big thing for mobile. Graves’ post “Is 2016 the year of the Physical Web?” confirms this point in no uncertain terms.

About Richard Graves

Richard Graves is an entrepreneur and angel investor with a background in telecom and technology start-ups. He is a past founder or co-founder of Lodging Data Systems, Digital Transmission, Inc., American Telephone Network (ATN), DTI Networks, Spring Valley Development and Aerobic Cruiser Hybrid Cycles. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.

About BKON

BKON uses the newest dimension of the Internet — the Physical Web — and Bluetooth® Low Energy beacons to help deliver content — information and experiences — to Smartphones and other mobile devices in the hands of consumers who are nearby. It’s the heart of proximity marketing.