TREND ALERT: Using Beacon Technology in Museums to Entice Millennials

TREND ALERT: Using Beacon Technology in Museums to Entice Millennials

Studies have shown that the dependence on the Internet of Things and smartphones has increased dramatically, especially with millennials. The generation is said to spend more than 5 hours day on their devices, so it can be concluded that the attention span of millennials is relatively short. With proximity marketing and beacon technology on the rise, companies, especially museums, need to be harnessing this global addiction.

Museums need to be exploring new technologies because consumers are continuing to become more and more demanding of ways to engage, interact, and share their experiences. A representative from the American Museum of Natural History said, “Where we used to have one way of visiting and experiencing a museum, people now expect a variety of ways. It’s about exploring new technologies.”

Consumers are becoming more and more demanding of their experiences with their favorite brands and companies. They want a way to engage and interact with them. Because most people, primarily millennials, carry a smartphone in their pocket, beacon technology makes this engagement possible. One museum that is currently using beacons to entice millennials is the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in Memphis, TN. They have been using beacons for 6 months and they have had an 85% visitor download rate. Executive director John Doyle said in an interview “We need to reach out to millennials, and we need to provide an interactive experience.”

Memphis Music Hall of Fame

Memphis Music Hall of Fame

Another thing for museums to realize about using beacon technology is that although it appeals to millennials, it does not threaten the experience of Baby Boomers or Gen X who are sometimes less experienced with smart, touch screen devices, because downloading the app is a choice. The consumer is in control, and they get to decide whether they want to have an interactive experience or not. Beacon technology can also be used to help the visually impaired, and special needs population through interactive, self-guided audio tours. So, while this technology is appealing largely to the millennial generation, there are plenty of other visitors that can benefit from it.

Beacons & Apps for Museums

A major benefit of using beacons in conjunction with an app is the ability to add and delete the content on the beacons. Updating and changing content is as easy as changing your wardrobe, so the experience that visitors have can change as much or as little as needed. It is a known fact that it is nearly impossible to rip away people’s attention from the content on their smartphones. By using beacon technology, the opportunity to gamify a museum experience is possible. Gamifying an experience provides museums with a way to present content to their visitors like never before by enticing, educating, engaging, and entertaining them.

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