Proximity marketing is a way for businesses to use mobile technology and localized wireless distribution of marketing messages. These messages are sent to the mobile devices of consumers near the physical location of the business. By opting in, consumers receive transmissions from businesses located in the area the consumer is currently in. Signals are sent to mobile devices within a predetermined range of the business.
What Is Proximity Marketing and Why Is It Useful explains, “the benefits of this type of marketing involve more than just increases in sales. Although the revenue generated by proximity marketing is considerable. This form of marketing offers an innovative method of delivering messages and content that regular emails and paper coupons cannot match.” The article goes on to say, “The largest advantage for many businesses is the immediate delivery of marketing metrics. Proximity marketing offers a business intelligence that can help a business redesign its marketing strategy.” Offering valuable insight to the customer in real-time. It is less expensive and yields, in most cases, immediate results.
This is an important marketing tool. “Currently, there are more than 5 billion mobile devices in the hands of consumers. As this figure continues to grow and mobile devices become more of a necessity; the effectiveness of proximity marketing increases… the main benefit of proximity marketing is the increased percentage of consumers that receive the marketing message.”
This type of marketing reaches potential customers at the exact time they are available to purchase your product or service. Malls, retail outlets, restaurants, are excellent places to use this type of marketing. You are reaching them when they are “in the mood” to be reached. Ten ways location-based marketing can help small business owners, states, “the best time to reach consumers is in the moment. The average consumer sees thousands of advertising messages a day, and in a fast-paced world, the only messages to get through are those that inspire immediate action. Mobile devices are creating exciting new opportunities to reach the right customers with the right offer at the right time, and the results are astonishing.”
Adding this type of marketing tool to a company’s IMC is just another step to completing the new marketing spectrum. It is important to reach and engage with people in the way they want to be engaged with. What Is Proximity Marketing and Why Is It Useful explains, “proximity marketing can help improve a marketing strategy by increasing the relevancy of each transmitted message. This type of marketing provides consumers with content that is applicable to a specific area. More importantly, the content and messages are relevant to nearby business and organizations where consumers may require additional information”.
The reason to integrate proximity marketing with other techniques is simply that this form of marketing “enhances the reach of a business’s message.”
Ten ways location-based marketing can help small business owners, lists ten ways to add proximity marketing to the IMC mix as:
1. Meeting shoppers where they are: on mobile. Proximity marketing is an opportunity to meet customers where they are and deliver content in a format that is likely to engage them. This type of marketing is also actionable, which means consumers can take advantage of the promotion or message in the moment.
2. Casting a wider net. Proximity technology gives small retailers a chance to reach customers who may not be familiar with their business, and it gives customers the chance to discover something new. This is especially important during the holiday season when people are searching for gifts.
3. Simple implementation. Getting people to download an app, particularly one which involves location-aware technology and thus raises privacy concerns, is not an easy thing to do. A better approach is to deliver messages over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, in a way that doesn’t require anything to develop or install.
4. Saving money. All retailers have to do to get in the game is buy the hardware and pay a small monthly fee since no app is needed. It saves money for consumers too, who don’t have to use their own cellular data plan to access the content.
5. Protecting privacy. Proximity marketing technology like the Smart Antenna doesn’t require the shopper to connect to the store’s network to make the iBeacon app work; it is self-contained and more secure for the retailer. This type of solution allows small businesses to build a relationship of trust with their customers.
6. Leveraging data. By installing a device that collects customer data, and that can interact with shoppers on their phones, small businesses are able to leverage data on the same level as large corporations and e-commerce platforms. They can analyze their customers’ preferences and behaviors, such as in-store shopping frequency, dollar value per item, redeemed offers, rejected offers and length of stay.
7. Predicting the future. By identifying these types of patterns, smaller companies can figure out what direction shoppers will go in next year and adapt accordingly
8. Creating context. Data is essential for creating context, and context is essential in today’s marketing. The more relevant the offer, the more likely that consumer is to convert.
9. Making it personal. Proximity marketing also enables retailers to tailor content to each user.
10. Bigger isn’t always better. Proximity marketing technology can help small businesses reach out to individuals in a way that feels more personal and intimate. The consumers receives the message because they are nearby, not because that merchant has the biggest, loudest sign.
4 Ways Wearables will change marketing – and what you can do to be ready, states, “The Holy Grail of Content Delivery” – wearable tech offers marketers the opportunity to speak to their audience based on their location, in real time.” Marketers will be able to take advantage of lifestyle tracking, reward behavior with auto-rebates, just to name a few.
There are several different ways to implement proximity marketing strategies. What Is Proximity Marketing and Why Is It Useful, lists them as:
- On-the-Spot Digital Coupons
- Bar Code Marketing
- Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Signal Marketing
- Digital Signage
Unfortunately, I don’t think I have ever been on the receiving end of proximity marketing but below is an image of what I would imagine the experience to resemble. I imagine walking around the new outlet mall that just opened in Jackson, MS. As I stop for coffee, I see my favorite shoe store. I love this store so much, I already have their app on my phone. Just as I walk in, I am notified on my phone of a reward. 50% off for just walking in the store. Yep, I’m going to make a purchase. Actually, I am going to be so happy with my savings, I just might buy two (or three) pairs of new shoes. WHAT A SAVINGS!!! I may even share the good news with my friends on Facebook… because EVERYONE feels better in new shoes.