If you spend a few hours at your favorite neighborhood bar, you’ll be passively exposed to dozens of advertising messages without even noticing them—a coaster bearing an energy drink logo, a neon sign for a liquor brand, a beer brand’s schedule of upcoming football games and the like. Like banner blindness in the real world, people barely register the brands they’ve seen, much less engage with them.
But that’s about to change. At CES this week, location technology company inMarket is announcing a new product to make in-bar advertising a little more engaging and a lot more memorable. Through a partnership with AMI Entertainment, the inBar ambient intelligence platform will use beacons, the most accurate geo-location technology, to deliver a personalized experience to smartphone users inside bars, restaurants, casinos and nightclubs. The rollout begins now to over 23,000 locations in AMI’s network.
Thanks to micro-location data from inMarket beacons installed in AMI jukeboxes, inBar will allow brands to segment and reach bar patrons based on where they are and what they’re doing. For example, a sports enthusiast might learn about a new drink while checking fantasy scores during a big game, while a late-night partier might receive a safe ride offer for a rideshare home or a special deal at a nearby taco joint. The best mobile moments combine utility, timing and branded messaging that improve the customer experience. InMarket works with its partner brands to ensure their mobile programs are checking each box.
There’s a tremendous opportunity for brands to add contextually relevant mobile content to their on-premise media mix. And the impact is a lot more personal than bar mats or neon signs.
“InBar gives brands a chance to talk to someone who just walked into the bar in an ambient, helpful way that improves their night out,” says Todd Dipaola, inMarket’s CEO and cofounder. “This is a real time contextual moment that is far more impactful than using a passive audience segment. It’s serendipitous, relevant to your micro-location and always native to what you’re doing in the bar.”
There are passive applications for beacon data as well. For example, brands can leverage inBar data to segment or retarget consumers who are bar regulars. InMarket already does this for retail purchase cycles—boosting up branded messaging just before the store visit, and pausing less relevant impressions just after the trip. This boosts ad spend efficiency and helps deliver tremendous ROI for the advertiser, because it eliminates wasted impressions.
With inBar, on-premise advertisers can now predict when a consumer is most likely to be heading to a bar based on previous visits, and automatically time their messages for the most receptive moments. Let’s be honest, no one wants to see a beer ad the next morning.
“It’s all about overlaying digital information onto your device—exactly when you need it most—so it can enhance your real-life experience,” Dipaola says.
For advertisers, inBar offers a turnkey solution that takes advantage of inMarket’s first party location data plus publisher relationships already crafted for its existing beacon platform that helps CPG brands reach customers inside retail stores. Brands access the technology and buy mobile moments and branded advertising through inBar with the simplicity of any other media buys. And since the platform operates on a cost per engagement basis, they only have to pick up the tab when the end customer engages with their content.
“With inBar, we’ve made contextual advertising on the physical web just as easy as AdSense for the real world,” explains Dipaola. “Based on our ROI with hundreds of brands over the past six years, inBar is an enormous opportunity for brands to have an unfair digital advantage when a consumer is selecting their next drink.”