MCG rates success of beacon trials for customer engagement

Melbourne Cricket Ground says beacon technology could be embedded into the stadium as part of its $45m technology rollout

One of the pie boys offering free pies to Melbourne Cricket Ground patrons during the iBeacon trial. Photo credit: Melbourne Cricket Club.
One of the pie boys offering free pies to Melbourne Cricket Ground patrons during the iBeacon trial. Photo credit: Melbourne Cricket Club.

Beacon technology could be embedded into the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s new high-density Wi-Fi network following a couple of successful customer engagement trials last year.

The MCG conducted two beacons trials in the second half of 2014 during sporting events aimed at enhancing the onsite experience for fans.

The first ran in September during Australian Football League (AFL) games at the stadium and gave fans the opportunity to win one of 50 Four ‘N Twenty pies if they downloaded a pass to their Android or iPhone smartphone.

Staff were equipped with beacons that triggered location-specific messages via Bluetooth to patrons’ smartphones as they move around the stadium during each match. Patrons who spotted the pie touts and presented their notification message could receive a free pie.

Communications manager at the MCG, Shane Brown, told CMO the stadium was pleased with the results of the trial.

“From a technology perspective, as well as operationally, it passed our tests and we also trialled various marketing and promotion channels,” he said.

“The trial wasn't really about numbers, it was more about gaining an understanding of how the technology worked, but also to learn about our fans' willingness and capability to engage with the technology as well as their desire to access special offers while at an event.”

A second trial was run during a Big Bash League match in January by the Melbourne Stars team in partnership with Acquire Learning, and involved giving away free icecreams to fans. This was also well received, Brown said.

While the MCG is in discussions with AFL clubs and other parties about future applications of the technology, there are no solid plans for further beacon trials at this stage, he said.

However, Brown said that beacons could become part of the MCG’s plans to install a high-density Wi-Fi network at the site later this year. The connectivity rollout is part of a wider $45 million investment announced in February to improve the fan experience onsite.

“Beacon technology is likely to be embedded into that project at some stage,” Brown said.

He also provided three key lessons learnt as a result of the proximity marketing trials. The first is to go down a minimum viable product approach.

“Definitely don’t bake the functionality into your app or build a new app at initial stages, digital passes are the perfect tool to test,” he said, highlighting Passbook and Android Wallet systems as examples.

“If you want to be nimble, passes are able to be built quickly and cheaply and should satisfy all your data needs at the same time. Incorporating the functionality into your app can come after you’ve established how it will best work for you and the business benefit.”

Brown also advised marketers to get out in the field and watch what happens. “Don’t just set and forget, observation is as valuable as the digital data,” he said.

The third lesson is having the ability to update messaging on the fly.

“So don’t go too deep if you have poor Wi-Fi or network coverage at your location,” Brown added.

Check out more of our coverage on beacon technology

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

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How to become the customer experience custodian

The number one objective enterprises give for embarking on a digital transformation is to improve customer experiences with new engagement models, according to IDC’s 2017 global study.

Fear not: It's only a robot

Every time I pass through the automated border controls at the Sydney airport I walk away with a feeling of exasperation on the one hand and relief on the other. Exasperation, because the face recognition technology inevitably always fails to recognise me. Relief, because we seem to be safely years away from the Orwellian reality of states controlling every aspect of our lives; something the media is keenly warning us against each day.

Dan Kalinski

CEO, iProspect Australia and New Zealand

To DMP or not to DMP?

There are plenty of brands that can benefit from plugging into a data management platform. But should you engage an agency to run one or bring it in-house?

Ben Willee and Richard Taylor

Spinach Advertising

I worked at Momentum when the transformation started way back in 2013 (not 2015 as stated in the article). It was a painfully slow and co...

Jay

How Momentum Energy has transformed its entire business to be customer-led

Read more

Another buzzword thoughtlessly latched onto, without any thought for the implications on the organisations that have to lumber through th...

Tired

Rolling out agile marketing at Deakin

Read more

Useful., also don’t miss out on these 5 features of Adobe Experience Cloud - Visit here > http://www.softcrylic.com/b...

Sunil Joseph

Adobe debuts Advertising Cloud, Experience Cloud

Read more

the systems that run these things are teachable just like a car, theres stuff still yet to come out to bring up the automation grade, b...

Magnus Robert Carl Wootton

Fear not: It's only a robot - Big data delivery - CMO Australia

Read more

Marin Software’s digital marketing solution as a short way of streamlining and finding a scalable solution...

Al Drazhev

How BizCover is boosting search advertising success

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in