Tips On How to Implement a Proximity Marketing Campaign For Your Business
Last Updated: December 23, 2020
Proximity marketing, or the process of marketing to customers when they are physically close to a designated location, is an increasingly popular and useful tool for driving traffic to retail locations. Here are some tips for implementing these campaigns effectively.
1. Define Clear Goals and KPIs
What does success in proximity marketing look like? Is it the number of people visiting stores, the amount people spend while using a proximity-delivered coupon, or something else entirely?
Proximity marketing itself is easy to set up, but without specific goals (and a way of measuring your progress toward those goals), it’s not nearly as useful as it could, or should, be. The best way to define your goals is to spend a little time determining your business needs the most and working backward from there until proximity marketing can support it.
2. Identify The Target Audience
Who do you want to target with your proximity marketing? It’s easy to say “all of my customers,” but some parts of your audience are fundamentally more responsive to proximity marketing than others are.
For example, some people are impulsive shoppers, and you can entice them into your store when they’re right in front of it, but others prefer to plan their entire visit to your area and may want to know if they’re visiting you when they’re getting out of their car.
Similarly, some people are unreachable with proximity marketing. While smartphones are common, they’re not universal. Even among those who do carry them, some aren’t inclined to install your app or accept notifications.
The good news is that you can somewhat change this through other advertising campaigns. If you give people a good reason to sign up for your proximity marketing, it will be far more effective.
3. Segment The Audience Into Groups
This is related to identifying your target audience. The critical thing to keep in mind is that you should segment your audience into the most important groups. For example, you may have some customers who only buy when they can get a discount above a certain amount, so you can give them coupons that you don’t offer to others.
You can also use data to identify groups that you might be unaware of. For example, you may find out that certain personality traits tend to indicate people willing to spend more in your store, so you can focus your other marketing on finding and attracting those types of customers.
You can do quite a lot with groups in proximity marketing, but this requires ensuring your campaign has some way to collect that sort of data. In general, the more data you can lawfully collect, the better.
4. Create A Content Plan And Appealing Messages
Proximity marketing feels spontaneous to customers, but it shouldn’t be intuitive to you. Depending on your business’s needs, you may want to plan days, weeks, or even months ahead of time. Here are some examples of different lengths for terms.
Short-term marketing is best when your stock changes regularly, and you want to highlight interesting new products. This is a great way to attract impulsive shoppers, especially if you configure the proximity marketing to push things you know they’re likely to buy.
In many ways, this is the most challenging content plan and messages to manage. It requires keen insight into user behaviors, supported by data, but it can also help you move far more of your products.
Mid-term pushes are those you set up several weeks ahead of time, usually to coincide with other marketing strategies. This is an excellent way to set up things for product launches and other times when you know you want to advertise it but can’t necessarily set it up too long before it goes live.
Long-term plans are for when you know certain times of the year are crucial, and you want to maximize your performance during those times. For most businesses, this means holidays.
5. Identify The Best Locations For Your Campaign
Not every store is a good choice for proximity marketing. This isn’t based on foot traffic around stores, either. Every location is fundamentally unique, so you need to approach stores on a case-by-case basis to see which of them are worth setting up proximity campaigns for.
You may also want to limit your proximity marketing to certain times of the year on a related note. We’ll discuss this more below, but some companies don’t benefit from constant notifications. You might do better by notifying during the holiday shopping season and leaving the system off the rest of the year.
Ultimately, any return on your investment is profitable. However, setting up proximity marketing across your whole company can be challenging if you have multiple locations. It’s often better to start with your biggest stores, gather data there, and then roll things out to your other stores once you know what works and what doesn’t.
6. Choose The Technology
In many ways, this is the hardest part of the entire process. Plenty of companies will advertise that they can set up proximity marketing campaigns for you or even code apps for your customers to download, but that doesn’t prove that they’re the right choice for your business.
Proximity marketing ultimately comes down to two pieces of technology: the hardware and the software. Hardware mainly includes servers for running your software and the hardware for collecting and storing data so you can process it later.
The software is more complicated. You must be able to track users’ locations so you can send them to push notifications, and you also need a way to manage your system, track information, and generally ensure the system works.
Ultimately, you may need to hire a freelance developer to create custom elements for your company. This will help ensure integration with your existing software. If your system is too hard to use, it won’t be as effective, and you’ll never get the full returns on your investment.
7. Track The Audience’s Shopping Behavior, Narrow, It Down, And Based On The Results Obtained, Establish The Frequency For Push Notifications
We discussed this earlier, but tracking shopping behavior is essential to managing proximity marketing campaigns. Getting people through your doors is only part of the marketing process. You also need to track which of your customers are buying things because of push notifications.
This is extremely easy if you’re pushing out coupons, not just ads telling people that products are in your store. You can limit individual coupons to push notifications, or even specific demographics, allowing you to collect an incredible amount of data on their shopping behavior.
Once you know their necessary behavior, you can also determine the best frequency of notifications. Some people prefer getting notifications every time, but other people may only want them once a week, or even once a month.
In general, the less often someone visits your store’s area, the higher the percentage of trips you can send them notifications for. You probably shouldn’t send notifications to people who visit every day. Still, like all marketing aspects, this is only a guideline, and you should adjust your strategies based on customer behavior.
8. Assess The Results To Improve Your Future Campaigns
Finally, take some time to assess the results of each proximity marketing campaign after you run it. When you start, you won’t have much data. As the months pass, however, you should gain significantly better insights that you can use to improve your future campaigns’ effectiveness.
This works similar to the way modern content marketing works. Constant iteration and improvement is the real secret to success with this marketing strategy, so it’s okay if you aren’t perfect when you start doing it. As long as you keep improving, proximity marketing will ultimately pay for itself and can become one of your most effective advertising tools.