How to run a proximity marketing campaign without an app
Last Updated:  November 17, 2023
UPDATE: Nearby Notifications will no longer be supported on Android smartphones after December 6 2018. Please read this blog post to understand how you can continue running proximity marketing campaigns through beacons.
Big-box retailers like Starbucks and Macy’s have apps and iBeacon technology (developed by Apple) to communicate offers and experiences to their consumers. Physical stores and Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) are not far behind. 67% of small businesses have an app and the number is expected to rise.
When consumers download an app, they signal their intent and willingness to receive a marketing campaign or hyperlocal content because it is relevant to them.
The major issue with having an app-less interface like Google Nearby on Android was spam. It made proximity marketing just as irrelevant as SMS marketing. Instead of targeted and tailored notifications, generic notifications put off consumers who had come to expect a certain level of personalization. When Google announced its decision to shut down the service, they ended up doing a huge service to the proximity marketing market by bringing it back to its roots – relevant and contextualized content.
For small businesses who are still on the fence about developing an app and for the average consumer who might be too overwhelmed by downloading different apps for every small business, there is an easy solution.
NearBee is a beacon-aware app that lets consumers unlock offers and receive hyperlocal content without asking customers to register or sign-up. NearBee is available on Android and iOS App store. It delivers visually rich, tailored, active notifications straight to the lock screen.
Most proximity marketing companies out there don’t have a robust solution such as NearBee which is now a leading proximity marketing app in the market.
Most Android phones support NFC tags without requiring an additional app. Businesses can use NFC to create an interactive product experience, extend the life of the product, offer deals and discounts, allow customers to add products to their cart and a whole host of things to enhance a customer’s in-store and post-purchase experience. In fact, even the newer iPhones like XS, XS max and XR do not need an app to read NFC tags.
Can you implement a proximity campaign without an app on iOS?
Apple’s commitment to supporting native QR code readers was shown in the iOS 11 update. Now consumers do not need an additional app to read QR codes. The camera app has an in-built QR code reader. There is no dearth of proximity marketing campaigns that businesses can run with QR codes. Offer deals and discounts, scan and go functionality, enrich products by offering product information, unlock loyalty programs and redirect shoppers to social media pages. Most of the newer Android phones also possess the ability to scan QR codes in the camera app.
QR codes and beacons can also be used in tandem thanks to the nifty feature in the Beaconstac dashboard. Each campaign is associated with a corresponding QR code which can be download by businesses and scanned by customers to unlock a markdown card (a Beaconstac creative in lieu of a website). What’s thrilling about this feature is that markdown cards can be changed in real time and the same QR code can be re-used for a different offer altogether.
NFC and QR codes are the bane of proximity marketing campaigns without needing an app. By blending both the cost-effective options, businesses can target both iOS and Android users. QR codes and NFC are also the gateways to downloading a beacon-aware app which can do more than both NFC and QR combined. A healthy mix of all three technologies can result in much higher ROIs.
If you are planning to try out proximity marketing, 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!
Monika Adarsh is the Director of Inbound Marketing at Beaconstac where her primary job is to help users find answers to anything related to QR Codes. She works closely with customers to understand QR Code usage trends and build a framework for successful QR Code campaigns. She enjoys documenting her learnings about the QR Code market as posts and playbooks. She also anchors a podcast to uncover ways of using QR Codes in DTC/CPG brands. In her free time, she loves gardening and decorating spaces.