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BrandSource Leveraging Apple’s iBeacon Platform

Tustin, Calif. – BrandSource is rolling out a retail-tracking program for dealers based on Apple’s iBeacon technology.

The location-based mobile marketing platform uses short-range, low-energy Bluetooth transmitters that can communicate with customers’ mobile devices in stores.

The beacons can transmit guided assistance including special deals and promotions, timely offers based on purchase history, video product demos, and other marketing content.

Mobile devices will require Apple’s Passbook app, available on iOS6 or later iPhone models, or BrandSource’s iOS mobile app – downloaded by more than 400,000 consumers – in order to receive member communications.

Unlike other location-based programs, the apps do not have to be running to relay the iBeacon transmissions. Apple reportedly rolled out the service to all its U.S. stores in December, and the platform was deployed last week in MetLife Stadium and Times Square to send NFL messages to Super Bowl fans.

BrandSource digital marketing VP Bob Donaldson said iBeacon can provide consumers with helpful information about products and services as soon as they enter a store by welcoming them and making them aware of current specials and financing options. As they move to a specific product area within the store, iBeacon can start a video presentation showcasing features and benefits of products on display in that area.

BrandSource members can also use iBeacon to train and educate store employees.

“What we’re doing is creating an ecosystem to empower our members and help them market themselves on an ever-changing digital landscape,” Donaldson said. “The flow of data today is fast and often complicated, but iBeacon is easy to implement and extremely affordable. We’re making it easy for our members to reap the rewards and remain competitive.”

BrandSource cited a recent survey by Pew Internet & American Life showing that nearly three-quarters of adult smartphone owners aged 18 and older use their phones to get directions or other information based on their current location.

“We already know that people are using their smartphones while they shop,” observed BrandSource CEO Bob Lawrence. “iBeacon technology can help to engage and guide customers while they’re in-store and ready to make a purchase.”

BrandSource will launch and demo the iBeacon program during its 2014 Summit & Expo, which will be held March 16-19 at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Fla.