Advertising Your Cannabis Business From Your Cell Phone.
So you are telling me, that it is possible to advertise my cannabis business (dispensary, online store, product sales ..etc.) from my cell phone passively?
This process actually dates back 5 to 6 years ago when a small device know as a beacon was announced. This device sends out a Bluetooth signal, that configured devices could receive. Back then you had to download a specific program from the google play store to receive these signals. That ultimately led to its downfall, as people were told at the location to download this specific program to receive coupons and notifications. The beacons at the time only had a range of about 1,000 ft. so a customer that had downloaded the special application would almost have to be in the store to receive it.
Beacon Marketing Today
Fast Forward to the year 2016, and Google releases “Nearby” an installed service that runs quietly in the background on your cell phone. What it does is picks up Bluetooth signals in the surrounding area. So now these beacons signals are being seen on your Android phone (Possibly the iPhone now as well).
What do these signals look like? How do I see them? And how would this advertise my business? All GREAT questions! The signal themselves is a long string of alpha-numeric characters. This long stream of characters is called a UUID that Nearby (the service on your cell phone) picks up, and then sends back to google. When Google receives the string of characters it looks up what should be sent back to the cell phone as a response. This response can vary, you can send back text/url or an intent (a request to open an app in the google play store) or even coupon codes.
So, as you can see from the image above what a text/url looks like. You are allotted about 40 character for a message and then the corresponding URL. In the image above is says “LeafAlert!!” and when clicked on it will go to the leafalert.com website.
Now let’s imagine for a second you are at a baseball game, a football game or concert. Anywhere there is a large group of people looking at their phones, has now become a potential client! The more you tailor your location the better the response will be.
No more cold calling or Facebook ads now all you have to do is walk around a concert to advertise your business. You may be thinking right about now “I NEED ONE OR FIFTEEN OF THESE IN MY LIFE!!!” and I would understand your enthusiasm 110% percent so much so that I built an entire beacon framework based on googles nearby api. It can be found here: citynetmarketing.com It will have some very cool features, but it is a work in progress at the moment.
However, I want to show you today how to download an application that can simulate a beacon signal from your phone for free!!! The applications name is “Beacon Simulator” and bellow I go through the different step you need to use in order to set up a simulated Bluetooth beacon signal.
Once you have downloaded the app from the link above you will see the first screen/dashboard. It will have listed all of the signals that you have set up to be broadcasted.
To set up a new signal click the orange “+” button in the lower right part of the screen and you will be presented with a menu at the bottom as to what kind of signal you want to broadcast. Just choose the Eddystone URL and it will take you to the form that you need to fill out to start broadcasting. Once the signal is set up, toggle the signal to “On” and you are now broadcasting. To test this find another person with a Android cell phone and have them check their statuses. The user **MUST** have bluetooth turned on in order to see the signal you are broadcasting with your cell phone. Most phones have this turned on by default.
Once you have this setup and you feel comfortable with the whole process, there is the matter of range. More than likely your phones signal is only broadcasting a few hundred feet (if you are in a crowded sports complex this is fine). However, what if you wanted to broadcast your signal to a range of 2.5 miles? How many people would be able to receive your message then? 1,000’s?
The beacon displayed above is a USB beacon, there is a little more to set up and configure but the reach is unbeatable. Should you want to give something like this a try contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can go over the specifics.
I really hope you found this bit of information helpful, I have set up a group on Facebook located here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/318617512012490 to discuss ideas, techniques and thoughts on marketing your cannabis business using beacon technology.