Gimbal beacons are used to power micro-proximity data for incredible in-app consumer experiences, but aren’t necessarily ideal for all assumed beacon uses cases. This FAQ serves to explain the best use cases for Gimbal beacons and outlines common misconceptions.

Questions About Beacons

Question 1: What is a beacon?

  • Beacons tend to be misunderstood and are thought to have capabilities that may not be ideal given the technology. It’s important to note that the beacon itself is just a Bluetooth™ radio transmitter that emits a radio signal made up of a combination of letters and numbers. In order for this beacon to be of ideal use, it needs to be registered with an app.

*The mobile app user must have location services turned on – both on their phone and within the app – and have Bluetooth enabled in order for them to receive messages.

Question 2: What are Gimbal beacons best used for?

  • At-scale ad campaign attribution for visitation measurement down to the aisle or shelf-level
  • Segmentation of audiences based on specific micro-location visitation behavior
  • Dwell-based measurement on a micro level (i.e. understand where people spend most of their time at specific locations and how long they stay)
  • Enhancing personalized messaging based on where consumers were seen within a location
  • Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use cases as outlined above

Question 3: What are Gimbal beacons not ideal for?

  • Wayfinding Gimbal focuses on high-quality, precise location technology. However, our business is not focused on providing wayfinding solutions. If you are interested in a wayfinding solution, we have a variety of partners we can recommend, such as Venuetize and Cartogram.
  • Asset Tracking – Gimbal beacons require an application. Generally, RFIDs are a better fit for this type of use case.

Question 4: I am a Real Estate company and want to deploy your beacons in apartment buildings for self-guided tours and helping people navigate through a building. Is this a good use case for Gimbal beacons?

This solution would require that your company:

  1. Has an app, and
  2. The app has the Gimbal SDK installed

That said, since the above scenario is essentially wayfinding (see Question 3), this isn’t the best use case for Gimbal beacons.

Question 5: I have several billboards throughout X city, can I put beacons on these and do a push or ad campaign?

  • While this is possible, beacon ad campaigns require scale for optimal performance. Gimbal can collect rich location data from our app panel who near the proximity of these locations and execute a mobile media campaign using the advertising IDs associated with those users, but the scale would be limited.
  • In order to do a push campaign, you would need to have an app with the Gimbal SDK installed.

Question 6: I am interested in your beacons for marketing. Am I able to configure an ad and setup myself? Or do I need a monthly subscription with you? Do you have a guide to configure ads?

  • Beacons do not contain any sort of content. They send out IDs that link the beacon with a device, but they do not create ads. Beacons can be used to support your proximity marketing efforts if you have an app with the Gimbal SDK installed. In this case, you can set up ‘Communicates’ (push notifications) through Gimbal Manager. For pricing, please contact sales or view our fee schedule.

More information on getting started can be found here.

Myths & Misconceptions About Beacons

Myth 1: “Beacons collect and track my info.”

  • Beacons simply broadcast a signal that can be picked up by a mobile app with the Gimbal SDK when a customer has Bluetooth turned on. Beacons do not store any information.

Myth 2: “A mobile user has to have an app open for communications via beacons.”

  • If a consumer agrees to receive messages from a brand, retailer, or publisher, he or she will get a notification when in proximity of a beacon that has been associated with that particular app.
  • Gimbal can ‘wake’ an app to the foreground, from a hard-closed and background state.

Myth 3: “Beacons send in-store offers based on a users location.”

  • Beacons do not send notifications to a user’s phone; apps do. Beacons simply send a unique identifier to an app to tell the app that a device is entering the beacon’s range, offering more precise level on control.

Myth 4: “Beacons are the solution for wayfinding.”

  • Beacons aren’t a standalone solution. The signals you get from beacons are non-directional and only provide an app with a signal strength. They aren’t ideal to pinpoint the location by triangulating the signal strength of multiple beacons.
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