Arts Centre Melbourne iBeacon trial disappoints

The retail approach to beacon technology, where it alerts visitors to food and beverage offers from the centre, is not the way to go, says marketing manager, Kristen Eckhardt

Arts Centre Melbourne is rethinking its approach to beacon technology after a disappointing trial of the proximity marketing platform that took place during Melbourne Festival in October.

The centre used iBeacon technology to alert visitors to food and beverage offers from its venue in a bid to drive additional sales. Visitors could download coupons from their iOS or Android phone, and store it in their Passbook or equivalent app in Android. When visitors walk near a café or bar, the beacon triggered the coupon to pop up on their screen, asking if they want to redeem it.

Arts Centre marketing manager, Kristen Eckhardt, told CMO the approach had proven not to work well in a cultural arts setting.

“I’m not exactly sure our audiences respond to a retail approach in a cultural arena. There’s a bit of a disconnect, perhaps,” she said. “Visiting the theatre is more often than not a planned experience. Prompting an unplanned visit to a cultural institution through this technology might be too big a leap for this particular audience.”

The Arts Centre offers were downloaded 515 times, an impressive result. However, the redemptions – having the customer take up an offer – were low.

“We are just sorting out our point-of-sale processes [for final numbers], but it’s safe to say it did underachieve what we hoped in terms of redemption,” Eckhardt said.

Although Arts Centre Melbourne has decided not to proceed with the trial, she is now thinking about how beacon technology could be used to enrich the customer experience by alerting visitors to further information on the performances they see.

“I think a really clever way we could use it is perhaps post-performance pop-ups that give people more information about the production they’ve just seen - something to read at home – that reminds them of the experience they’ve just had, or that gives them a deeper insight into the experience they just had,” Eckhardt said.

Another lesson learnt for Eckhardt is not to underestimate the important of getting the entire community on-board in the opportunities of beacon technology, so that it becomes a more mainstream way of how visitors interact with arts.

“I think it is important because we can’t necessarily make this thing as a standalone, isolated thing. It needs a critical mass to attract audiences and ‘train’ them in the use of this technology and make it a natural thing for the theatre or art experience,” she said.

“I’m not convinced cultural audiences really understand it yet. If there was an opportunity for all the cultural institutions within the precinct to undertake a major project, we could combine our audiences and educate them together, to make this technology a natural part of their interaction.

“I would have done more onsite signage and given the offer a bit more exposure as well. That sort of exposure can only be improved if all other arts agencies were on-board.”

Signup to CMO’s email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Disruption Down Under – What’s Amazon’s real competitive advantage?

Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve

Traditionally the non-executive board of a company acts in an advisory capacity - attending monthly board meetings to offer overarching advice and guidance typically focusing on:

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

The most desirable customers you’ve overlooked

“What will really move the needle?” This is a question that keeps leaders awake at night. And at the intersection of some of their top priorities – finding pockets of growth, redefining the customer experience, and making an emotional impact – lies a latent market: Their diverse customers.

Really inspiring !

Goldenboy Media

Jaywing sets sights on Australian growth with digital and data-driven agency model

Read more

Being aware of regulations or guidlines is just the start. As our CEO Emma Lo Russo stated exactly two weeks ago at an event we supported...

Alan Smith

​Are the Wild West days of influencer collaboration over?

Read more

Rebranding is always nice solution to get better organisation. Businessman may apply certain special services (for example, https://www.l...

David Hill

CMO interview: Spearheading the global rebranding of OFX

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing this article.Top Digital Marketing company in Bangalore

Way To DM

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Thanks for the great article Jodie, agree many boards and senior execs are operating in outdated modes, just as we need some reverse soci...

sharyn

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve - Data-driven marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in