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Nivea, Coca-Cola leverage beacons to drive customer engagement in Brazil

Brands such as Coca-Cola, Nivea and Dafiti are benefiting from Brazil?s growing smartphone market by leveraging beacons to deliver personally targeted, relevant content to mobile-savvy consumers.

A range of companies have begun to experiment with Apple?s iBeacon as a new way of interacting with consumers. The acceptance of beacon technology in this nation, part of the group known as BRIC, for Brazil, Russia, India and China, shows how as mobile moves through society, mature customers demand deeper purchasing experiences in addition to good online service.

?We believe in this technology because it allows us to break the Internet barrier and contact our client when he or she is offline with a relevant message,? said Malte Huffmann, Dafiti?s co-founder and managing director. ?For example, we can offer sports outfits to clients in the park or we can offer products of a certain brand when the client is near the brand's store.?

Fertile ground
Beacon technology enables customers to receive notifications through mobile phone applications, even when the user is not connected to the Internet. Bluetooth signals are emitted by beacons installed at strategic points. 

When a user passes a beacon, her or she can receive notifications about articles or promotions on nearby products.

Malte Huffmann.

Brazil?s reputation as the home of the world?s fifth largest mobile phone and Internet user group makes it fertile ground for beacon experimentation. At the same time, São Paulo has become a major testing ground for mobile and software development. 

During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola investigated ways of using iBeacon technology to separate itself from the pack of advertisers at the event. One idea involved sending fans notifications about the nearest Coca-Cola kiosk whenever they parked their car.

Cosmetics maker Nivea embedded beacon bracelets in a magazine advertisement in the Brazilian news magazine Veja. Readers could use the bracelets in combination with Nivea?s phone app to help them track their children's whereabouts on the beach.

Dafiti, Latin America?s largest online fashion retailer, will be integrating Apple?s iBeacon technology into its platform, making it the first company to adopt the system for sales in Brazil. 

If a user walks into a park in São Paulo, he or she can receive an article from Dafiti about the latest park outfits or lifestyle news.

The beacon boom aims to increase the relevance of mobile platforms for customers and use mobile to increase convenience for shoppers. 

?Brazil is a very receptive country regarding social media and new technologies, so every new trend is usually quickly absorbed,? Mr. Huffmann said.
?Our investment in new tools is a way to offer personalized and relevant content, and to anticipate our clients'  needs for a better customer experience.?

Trendy neighborhoods 
Dafiti placed iBeacons in trendy neighborhoods in São Paulo, near shopping malls, parks and commercial streets. 

Dafiti's beacons in Sao Paulo.

?We are investing a lot in mobile marketing and in turning ourselves into a more interactive fashion player,? Mr. Huffmann said. ?iBeacon is part of this strategy but it´s not an isolated tool. 

?We will be launching new interactive features in the future,? he said. ?Our mobile share more than doubled over the last 12 months and we have dedicated teams to further improve our mobile experience.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York.