Google Ads BETA: Bluetooth Low-Energy Beacons (BLE)

Wondered how Google media products like Google Ads or YouTube could measure in-store visits?

With their Bluetooth Low-Energy Beacons (BLE) beta product, now you can measure when someone views/clicks on your ad and then actually makes it into a retail store.

Google is calling this the Beacon Project for short.

What are beacons?

Beacons are small, battery ­powered Bluetooth wireless radios that send one­ way signals intended to be discovered by nearby devices. Beacons transmit small bits of data like a random number or unique URL roughly once per second. These signals are readable by BLE­ compatible devices, like smartphones and tablets, within a limited proximity range. Apps with the appropriate Bluetooth permissions can read these signals and perform some action. The slide below (provided by Google) provides some context.

Why should marketers care about beacons?

By leveraging Google's beacons marketers can:
  • Mark physical places and objects that are important to your business
  • Give those "offline", tangible places/objects meaning
  • Serve online (Desktop/Tablet/Mobile) ads via Google Search, YouTube, Display and Video. Then track a physical action in a retail environment
Allow me to translate these three bullets into plain English using the example of a supermarket:
  • Place Google beacons at the store entrance, produce aisle and meat department at every store
  • Connect BLE signals to Google Ads account
  • Serve Google Search and Video ads promoting great deals on produce and meat ... and then actually see how many online users walk into your store and make it to those sections of the market

How does this differ from location-based capabilities we're used to today?

Wait ... so y'all can connect online advertising directly to offline actions?


Ahhh now I see the catch: Google is going to charge us for the install and maintenance of the BLEs right?

NOPE. During this beta period Google will cover 100% of the beacon cost and install.

Wow that's great! How do we learn if we are eligible for this beta program from Google?

First and foremost you need to be working with a Google Premier partner (MKG is one).

Second of all: the pilot is available to merchants in the United States and Canada. If you are interested in the beacons opportunity MKG can submit your brand for consideration.

Third and most important: if you fill out the Google form below, we can send you two confidential "how it works" documents and schedule a call with Google to submit your brand for consideration.

We **promise** not to add your information to any database or contact you with any other information besides the Google beacon project.


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