April 7 2016

Should You Really Invest in Proximity Marketing?

Proximity marketing has come a long way from the early days of WI-FI-only detection. Now, in 2023, over 307 U.S. consumers own smartphone. You can use beacons if you want an extremely accurate, location pinpointing technology. Alternatively, choose low-cost Bluetooth for spanning larger distances and reaching multiple users; but should you really make the investment?

Proximity Marketing Successes

With the increasing availability and ease of use with these devices, it’s no surprise that more and more major companies are adopting proximity technology as an essential part of their marketing plans. One of the most notable examples of this is the retail superstore chain Macy’s. Last year, Macy’s had installed nearly 4,000 beacons in their stores to engage the customers and offer them personalized promotions. Similarly, the McCormick, Kraft, and Cadbury brands have incorporated proximity marketing into their business strategies. While this is a recent adoption, they have met with great initial success.

One of the biggest reasons why you should consider investing in these devices is to keep up with the trend of location targeting. No matter what industry your business is in, the chances are high that your competitors will be using this technology in the next few years. Customers are already familiar with this style of messaging and are starting to expect these services as part of the shopping experience.

Just how big will proximity marketing become? According to a recent bizreport.com report, 79% of major brands in the UK are planning to launch at least a trial proximity marketing campaign. In the US, beacons are becoming a major trend in retail. An estimated 46% of major chains will be making an investment in these devices.

What Areas of Your Business can be Enhanced with Proximity Marketing?

For the most part, proximity marketing has been used to bring customers into your brick and mortar store and encourage them to take part in new promotions. It has been used at a store-wide level to welcome customers and inform them about special deals, but there are other ways to use the power of proximity without issuing a discount or special offer.

One way, is to use proximity devices to enhance the overall customer experience. Ordering a cup of coffee or checking into a hotel room without standing in line are welcomed experiences that can happen with mobile. Proximity marketing doesn’t need to be driven by an offer or coupon to be effective. Proximity marketing is about creating greater engagement on a more personal level. Think about the types of experiences customers truly enjoy and find ways to deliver those experiences through mobile technology.

When it comes to the numbers, a 2015 Store Operations Survey found that utilizing proximity marketing technology lead to a 24% increase in sales. The survey also indicated that part of the increase in customer traffic was due to the inclusion of the proximity marketing technology.

How Customer Profiles Translate to Maximized Sales Opportunities

Brick and mortar stores have fallen a little behind the curve in terms of gathering and utilizing customer data. Detailed customer profiles have allowed blockbuster businesses like Amazon to send out finely tuned advertising that has a high rate of ROI, but a business of any size can use these principles through smart use of proximity marketing. The data we receive from proximity marketing can be used to make improvements to products, staff allocation in various departments and so on.


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