This week we will be discussing Proximity Marketing (aka Hyper-Local Marketing):

Today there are many opportunities for proximity marketing. Because the barrier to entry is much less expensive than years past. Many large companies will create their own beacon app, which will assuredly be the most effective. However, the good news for small businesses is that with new apps that are not brand specific, a small business can have a bacon marketing plan of its own. Today there are many apps, some a for a specific store, others are apps that are non-store specific. A non-exhaustive list is:

  • AreaBluetooth (app)
  • Beaconstac (app)
  • Bestbuy
  • CarreFour
  • Eat
  • FourSquare (app)
  • Gasbuddy (app)
  • Google Nearby (app)
  • Hammerson
  • McDonalds
  • MeadowHall
  • Rite Aid
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Woolworths

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What is it? To put it in the most basic terms. Proximity Marketing is the process of advertising to specific customers based upon their current location.

How does it work? The premise of Proximity Marketing is that through select apps (see list above). A potential customer’s cellular device uses a Bluetooth app which turns their phone into a beacon for the companies that are within range. Once a store recognizes the beacon, it will send a message asking for the customers’ permission to communicate with said customers’ device. If the customer allows for notifications, the company will then send an advertisement to the potential customer. The unique aspect of proximity marketing is that is based solely upon the exact, current, location. If a company can see your beacon, it means that the customer is near the storefront that would advertise to said client (Beaconstac, 2016; N.A., 2015; Callahan, N.D.).

Benefits: The benefits to proximity marketing are still growing. However, this budding technology is proving itself to be useful to large businesses and small business alike. The key benefit is that it eliminates waste. Often a marketing manager will not know what part of the marketing plan was the most effective. However, what is known, is that reaching customers that cannot use your service is wasted time and money. With Proximity marketing, your business can set the marketing efforts on strict parameters. Namely, reaching only the customers in a particular geographic area. There are many other benefits. One is that customers are often looking at their phones and therefore when a much advertisement goes through it will most likely be seen. With the beacons, your company is afforded a direct connection to the customers, and this allows for a conversation with a customer. This conversation creates a personal relevance like no other marketing gimmick could. In fact, since many customers make purchase decisions within the store, there is the perfect time to reach them (Beaconstac, 2016; Mittal, 2016).

It Has Worked On Me: I can speak from experience when I say there are times in which proximity marketing has worked. I use to be loyal to Old Navy jeans. However, once I was trying to buy new jeans, I am someone that doesn’t like shopping, so i try to get it all done at once. This particular time I was getting ready to settle for a few pair of jeans that I did not like. At that time, I was waiting on an important email when I received an ad from JCPenny. It was a significant percent off, and I went and ultimately bought pants from JCPenny, where I have nought my jeans ever since. All it took to convert me to a paying customer was one ad, that is the power of the beacon app.

The Impact of Wearable Tech:

Apple Watch: The first that comes to mind is the Apple Watch. One of the most popular tools in which the Apple watch is used is the health warning system. That system trans the people wearing the watch to look at it consistently throughout the day. The Apple watch is not designed like previous watches; in that, it was not designed to “go away.” For the Apple watch to work efficiently, the customer must be reminded that they have it on their wrist. Because of the health ring system, the customers now have a beacon system on their wrist, as opposed to their pocket. It is not uncommon for many customers to put a phone on silent and temporarily miss a message, only to get marketing messages hours later. However, with the ding and vibration of their wrist, the customer is likely to get the message in a timeframe that is beneficial for the customer and store (Callahan, N.D.; Girish, 2016).

Fin Ring: Another popular, wearable tech, is the Fin Ring, which turns a user’s palm into a mousepad. While this device is new and far less common than the Apple Watch, if there was a beacon app created, the Fin Ring could be used to reach consumers on a consistent basis (Callahan, N.D.; Girish, 2016; N.R., 2014).

Linkable Bracelet: Currently, this device is a beacon app bracelet that is marketed to parents of young children, as a way to keep a location device on their children.  However, with advancing technology, it is a near certainty that if it becomes a popular seller, then marketing apps will surely follow (Callahan, N.D.; Girish, 2016).

Wearables will have a significant influence on the proximity based advertising. The aforementioned tech accessories create a digital presence like never before. Now the customer is allowing technology into their lives at all times of the day. Not only will this allow for easier access to the customer, but it will make the customer more open to the idea of being marketed to, because, in reality, that is part of the reason for wearable tech.

Marketing Outline:

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For a local/small business Proximity Marketing allows for a short and targeted marketing structure. One of the first things to do is decide on an initial marketing plan, next is to set up an iBeacon system.

 Once a marketing plan has been determined, the iBeacon device should be put on all trucks, and at the office. In doing so, anyone in the vicinity of the company logo would be reminded of the brand and updates, allowing for greater market presence. Geofencing is another interesting strategy in that it allows a company to set up a predetermined area in which potential customers will receive an advertisement. The best way for a company like Destiny Electric to utilize geo-fencing would be to geo-locate customers at the company’s that we work with the most. For example, River Realty is a company that contracts Destiny to handle all service calls for their rental homes. Destiny can now geo-fence River Realty so that all customers shopping for (and hopefully purchasing) new homes will get Destiny’s contact info, even before they move into their new home.

REFERENCES:

BeaconStac (2016) The A to Z of Proximity Marketing with Beacons. Beaconstac. Retrieved on (March2, 2017) Retrieved at: http://www.beaconstac.com/ebook/pdf/The_A_to_Z_of_Proximity_Marketing_with_Beacons_13116.pdf

Callahan, S. (N.D.). How Wearable Tech is Changing Proximity Marketing. Retrieved March 02,2017, from http://www.digitalsocialretail.com/how-wearable-tech-is-changing-proximity-marketing/

Girish, D. (2016, January 7). 5 Ways Google Nearby is about to Disrupt Proximity Marketing. Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://blog.beaconstac.com/2016/06/5-ways-google-nearby-is-about-to-disrupt-proximity-marketing/

Mittal, S. (2016, February 11). 25 Retailers Nailing it with their Proximity Marketing Campaigns.Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://blog.beaconstac.com/2016/02/25-retailers-nailing-it-with-their-proximity-marketing-campaigns/

N. A., (2015, July 24). What Is Proximity Marketing And How Does It Work? Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://medium.com/@Inquirly01/what-is-proximity-marketing-and-how-does-it-work-403eb2c365b5#.euzvtbi5g

N, R. (2014, January 08). Fin: Wearable Ring. Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fin-wearable-ring#/

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