Proximity marketing is all about marketing to your consumer at the right place, at the right time, with highly relevant and personalized notifications. Over the past year,we have seen a number of brands ranging from casinos to theme parks, opt in to enhance their customer experience using proximity marketing technologies. Marketers across various verticals are now beginning to realize that proximity marketing offer enormous potential beyond merely delivering vouchers and coupons. These tools work best when they are used by brands to better understand the needs and wants of their customer base, as well as notable patterns in buying behaviour.
As we look to 2015, we will see more and more brands reorganizing their marketing strategies around this new technology. More importantly, as more and more proximity marketing campaigns showcase what’s on offer, there will be a huge change in consumers’ perceptions as it reinforces the trust factor by highlighting the fact that it is the consumer who truly benefits from the technology.
In this post, we will discuss about the basics of proximity marketing, how it works and what it holds in the future.
So, what exactly is proximity marketing?
Also known as ‘hyperlocal marketing’, proximity marketing involves targeting potential consumers with personalized adverts based on how near a consumer (or device) is to a specific location and enticing them to make a purchasing decision in the immediate future.
How does it work?
Proximity marketing with beacons involves setting up a bluetooth enabled mobile device at a particular spot within the range of the beacon and passing information in the form of text, images or video via the respective mobile app. There are a number of must-haves required to employ this marketing technique. They are:
1. First of all, the consumer should be using a Bluetooth enabled mobile device at the location where the proximity marketing technique is being applied.
2. A beacon must be deployed in the area where the consumer is currently located, in order to send out and receive marketing messages or other information.
3. The targeted consumer should have downloaded the relevant mobile application and installed it on his or her phone that is capable of receiving push notifications.
Again when it comes to beacon deployment there are a number of factors to consider, starting from available power arrangements to choosing the right kind of beacon. We have discussed about 5 such crucial factors in one of our earlier blog posts. Once the brand deploys a beacon in the spot chosen for promotion, the communication occurs in 3 quick steps. They are:
1. Device detection: A Beacon scans for bluetooth enabled mobile devices in its proximity range while it broadcasts its ID number (which is unique to a particular beacon in that location) at regular intervals. The proximity-aware mobile app will also carry a list of ID numbers of all the beacons that have been activated and will associate them with their location. Once the device matches a beacon’s ID with the ID held in the proximity-aware mobile app, it lets the app know that the beacon is nearby.
2. Permission request: For each bluetooth enabled mobile device detected within the proximity range of the beacon, it will send requests to consumers seeking permission to communicate with their mobile device.
3. Content upload: Once the consumer grants permission, depending on how the app has been configured, it will then notify the consumer with an alert on the lock-screen, displaying the corresponding message. Tapping on the message opens the app, at a screen displaying personalized marketing messages including text, images, audio and video about products found at that spot chosen for promotion or a complementary product found one aisle away.
A look into the future
As proximity marketing gains momentum and moves beyond trial stages, we will see brands go on to use beacons to gather a rich collection of consumer data which in turn will enable brands to communicate better with their customers resulting in a positive impact on the bottom line.
If you are planning a beacon pilot, take a look at Beaconstac, that includes everything you need to get started. Using Beaconstac you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!