How One Business Could Use iBeacon for Cause Marketing


I've written before about how interested I am in iBeacon. The technology involves short range sensors that share information with a customer's mobile device. It can be something as simple as a welcome message when you enter a store.  


But businesses will use iBeacon in all sorts of ways.

One business planning to give iBeacon a try is Rhode Island-based jeweler Alex and Ani. They just inked a deal with Swirl, a company based right here in Boston. Swirl will help the retailer deploy and use iBeacon in its 40 retail locations.

I'm not privy to how Alex and Ani will use Swirl's iBeacon services in its stores, but they could use them for their cause-related efforts. The jeweler has a well-known and successful Charity by Design program that features bangle bracelets for charity.

For example, 20 percent from each sale of the Hero Charm Bangle supports Rhode Island's Hasbro Children's Hospital.


Here are a few ways that Alex and Ani could use iBeacon for cause marketing.

  • When customers enter a store, iBeacon could send them a message about the Charity by Design program.
  • As they browse the store, iBeacon could notify shoppers when they're in front of the Charity by Design case (Yep, iBeacon is that sensitive!).
  • When stoppers linger near the Charity by Design case, iBeacon could give them the option to watch a short video on one of the charities the bracelets support.
  • iBeacon could inform shoppers of a new design of their favorite bracelet.
  • iBeacon could inform the sales team that a Charity by Design customer has entered the store.
  • iBeacon could promote a separate fundraising event for one of their charity partners.
  • iBeacon could make suggestions on which jewelry goes best with a bracelet.
  • iBeacon could notify shoppers of an additional donation if they buy that day.
  • With iBeacon, shoppers could buy a bracelet right on their mobile device. They could also make an additional donation to the charity, and Alex and Ani could reward them with a coupon for their next visit.

Alex and Ani decided to launch an iBeacon program after a very successful trial run of iBeacon and Swirl's services. They're bullish on iBeacon. I am too. But I'm even more excited about the potential for cause marketing and iBeacon. Stay tune! 

CauseTalk Radio Ep79: Jingit is Taking Cause Marketing Mobile

Today on CauseTalk Radio, Megan and I talk to Chris Murray, Director of Business Development, of Jingit about how they are shaking up payments and advertising with an app that's enabling marketers to follow a consumer from first media impression through purchase and into loyalty.

Chris also discusses how Jingit is being used for good, most recently to enhance a partnership between Walmart and Feeding America.

Tune in now!

Show Summary (Prepared by Megan Strand!)

0:00 - 2:54

Joe, Chris and Megan chat about the freezing weather and learn what location has the most temperature fluctuations in the world (you can probably skip this part if you're hard core).

3:00 - 4:15

Chris gives an overview of Jingit's payment and advertising platform (you should listen to this if you don't want to be confused the rest of the episode) and how they allow consumers to earn cash at every step of the brand engagement cycle.

4:30 - 6:20

Chris explains how Jingit serves brand, retailer and consumer with Jingit's version of a digital coupon.

6:20 - 7:25

Joe compares Jingit to Passbook. Chris explains the opt-in engagement model and how this allows brands to better understand the consumer's preferences.

7:30 - 9:20

Megan asks about the tie-in for consumers and cause. Chris explains Wal-Mart's hunger program and how Jingit helped power their in-store engagement. 

9:25 - 10:30

Chris talks about the benefit of providing content for consumer engagement and why Jingit is cautious about video content in big box stores. Chris also talks about BoxTops and how Jingit created a consumer interaction w/ General Mills.

10:35 - 11:00

Chris talks about how digital programs allow loyalty programs to grow.

11:04 - 12:58

Joe's been dying to bring it up - here it is: the mobile wallet discussion! Jingit chooses to be retailer and mobile wallet agnostic. Why mobile wallet is slower to catch on, but that may change with over 250 new mobile wallet providers entering the space.

13:00 - 15:40

What will incent consumers to care and make the jump to mobile wallets en masse? A discussion about how the engagement piece will rise to the top of the list of priorities.

15:45 - 17:15

The discussion turns toward the privacy issue and how it may come and bite people in the years to come. Did the Target privacy breech cause you to order new credit cards? Yeah…not for us either. Will it make you stop shopping at Target?

17:20 - 20:00

Another topic Joe's been dying to bring up: iBeacon and how the in-store beacons might impact consumer shopping experience. How Jingit connects with this technology. Did you hear about CES iBeacons getting hacked? Chris explains it here. Retailers are ramping up quickly and it's a competitive race about who rises to the top. The implications for cause and event hyperlocal engagement and fundraising.

20:00 - 22:35

Why it was important for WalMart to test their consumer engagement with a cause program. How Children's Miracle Network is getting in on the Jingit consumer engagement in their retail engagement and the major nugget of gold they anticipate receiving via these types of engagement.

22:43 - 23:36

Back to hyperlocal and how this can be integrated with the consumer engagement piece.

23:39 - 26:02

How you can find out more about Jingit, Joe Waters and SelfishGiving and Megan Strand and the Cause Marketing Forum.