1
July
2014

Proximity Marketing: The Beginning of Real-time Marketing Revolution

A Historic Overview of Proximity Marketing
 

The world is getting smarter and marketing channels must learn to adapt in parallel

Proximity Marketing to Develop Stronger Ties with Customers

Proximity Marketing is rapidly altering the familiar face of product promotion and campaigning. A new set of rules has replaced the older ones and with new rules, many new winners will emerge. Interpreting this change as solely benefitting for retailers would be a mistake. Proximity Marketing is aimed at not only adding to the convenience of vendors, business partners and Retailers but also shoppers will find it equally contributing to their requirement. In fact, it won’t be wrong to state that the goals of proximity marketing are highly customer-centric. To get a better insight of the new marketing trend, it is important to understand how proximity marketing has evolved at the logical crossroad of two earlier trends. The rapid rise of ‘go mobile’ culture is the first and the most striking trend. Mobile phones, for modern customers, are nothing less than de facto portals. The prime interface of the devices are not only ready to be at their service but also functions as an effective platform to research, continue with networking and in several cases, use it as the ultimate platform to make purchasing decisions. Developing marketing strategies with adequate adherence with the chance is sure to outperform their counterparts that don’t acknowledge with magnitude of the change. If mobile revolution is the first trend, the second one is surely digital signage— one of the most powerful tools in the hands of retailers for brand, product and service promotion along with complete multimedia experience. Clearly, this is a far more superior innovation than static signage and has been welcomed phenomenally by customers. The problem, however, with digital signs is that they are not typically aware about audience particulars. Naturally, shoppers do not find the content delivered of much use when it comes to the retail sector. In case the specifics are met once, there is no scope to store the data about the shopper and it is highly unlikely that in future the same customers would be provided with the best content, matching their requirement.

How the difference is made by proximity marketing
 

Proximity Marketing is the thread that weaves mobile culture and digital signage in a manner that they are enriched respectively and mutually as well. Proximity Marketing, by integrating Mobile Technology and digital signage, works by identifying customers who are inside of a store or near to it. However, it is a precondition that customers’ mobile phones should be active. Upon detecting customers, it would deliver suitable content directly to their phones along with a basic query. If the customers chooses to opt-in for the query, the scope for more detailed, complex and relevant interaction opens up. Modes of the interaction may vary, starting from quite simplistic something (such as a coupon for a particular product) or an innovating gaming program. However, the kind of interactive parameter a customer may receive on his/her phone is entirely dependent on the nature of a brand’s business goal and extent of the shopper’s interest/attention for a product/brand.

Information Filtration for faster, more accurate delivery of information to Customers
 

One of the most critically important facts about proximity marketing is that it provides retailers with the opportunity to have an insight about the way or the time customer shops, items he wishes to purchase and factors he considers before coming to a decision. Proximity Marketing involves a technology that helps tracing customers’ phones through a unique identifier; consequently, it empowers retailers with the opportunity to identify a customer as an individual and understand his/her purchasing behavior both online and offline. The process of tracing customers’ phones and understanding their purchasing behavior, whether online or especially, offline is completely secure and doesn’t involve in any way whatsoever, access to customers personal information. The unique identifier is only associated with the device that the customer user and never accesses any of the phone content, personal information or numbers stored. Clearly, there is no way that users’ privacy will be hampered. Based on the real-time in-store activity of customers, the process of understanding customers purchasing behavior continues to improve. Naturally, the goal of information filtration – delivering information to customers, matching their preference and faster than traditional methods – attains the desired level of success. Gradually, a retailer creates an extensive data-pool, consequently, gathers the intelligence to promote products and services with greater personalized touch, addressing customers’ requirement, leading to drawing their attention, influence decision making and purchasing habit. With the course of time, the process creates a win-win business ecosystem, where retailers enjoy better returns from the efforts put forward and customers find that the services they are notified of are highly matching with their interest.

For better results, inject digital signage
 

For truly rewarding experience with customer satisfaction and delivering them with content, matching their personal preference inclusion of digital signage is a must. The fusion of proximity marketing and digital sign content becomes much more relevant to customer’s requirement, compared to proximity marketing alone. The x-factor about including digital signage is that the content generation would become much more aligned towards special interest of shoppers, matching with the shopping trends, retrieved through demographical analysis. Additionally, the contribution of proximity marketing for interactive digital signage may lead to equally effective outcome. In this way, customers receive a better opportunity to interact with the sign and in this manner, they play a more commanding part with deciding what they want to see. The system, in this situation, also automatically generates content that is tailored as per specific requirement of customers, with adequate consideration of the solutions that proximity marketing created. Ultimately, in either case, the system not only becomes more intelligent, flexible and target specific but also delivers more refined results, benefitting both customers and retailers. The best part is that quality of the outcome continues improving with time as the database becomes more comprehensive and thorough.

Connection Establishing
 

Knowledge demands calculative investment to unleash the full power

Comparing and contrasting proximity marketing directly with the conventional counterparts is the best way to understand its potential.

Go Beyond Time Constraint
 

Proximity Marketing is your prime channel when it comes to speeding up the overall consumer handling experience. Promotion with this is faster, implementation of the process takes lesser time than other channels, customers also experience the consequences faster and it is definitely faster than any other method in terms of making changes to the existing structure, based on customer response. Retailers may add new content on-site and it will start interacting with customers in a better, improved way. The entire review cycle, with proximity marketing push, becomes exceptionally swift. If retailers find that customer response to the new content is not adequate, they can adjust it swiftly by adding more relevant, and experimented-to-be-true kind of content. It mean that real-time management of marketing campaign is possible. Compared to conventional marketing, the new form takes the older problems head on. It not only provides complete relief from prolonged, persisting marketing issues but also reduces the chance of hampering brand image and revenue earning in consequence, significantly.

Proximity marketing: The New Key to ROI Hike
 

Switching to Proximity Marketing is the new key for Retailers to enjoy more ROI. Compared to any other traditional marketing channels, proximity marketing is inexpensive. The familiar marketing methods, such as, e-mail marketing, telemarketing or ads on television that increases the overall expenditure strikingly. In addition, there is no guarantee that mass response in relation to these methods would be as per estimation. As per the recent research findings, the response from e-mail marketing is approximately 1% only, while the overall costing for every 1000 unqualified leads comes something in between $50-100. Proximity Marketing guarantees remarkably better return, compared to the findings associated with conventional marketing channels. Opting for a comprehensive proximity marketing solution, in general, increases conversion rates over 20% than that of familiar marketing methods. Furthermore, with proximity marketing, retailers are required to invest only 1% of what they planned on spending with traditional marketing platform. What about the cost to customers per iteration? If the proximity marketing solution is Bluetooth based then it is zero. The investment customers have already made by purchasing Bluetooth-equipped mobile devices. Naturally, they don’t require any additional career and also won’t be generating any expenditure.

Understand customers better to develop stronger ties with them
 

On one hand, it is said that understanding customers is the key to success. Actionable intelligence has an important role to play in this context. Conventional marketing platforms lead to a very limited actionable intelligence, based on shoppers’ feedback. There is almost no or very little chance for a retailer to receive information about a customer, who has responded after seeing an ad on the TV or receiving an email. Automatically, the possibility of future marketing, adhering with the customer’s interest hits the bottom. Quite in contrast to this situation, proximity marketing delivers a whole new dynamics that is largely automatic. This technology links with specific smartphones, analyzes correct variables (such as purchases, expenditure, response level to marketing campaigns) and provide retailers with the opportunity for profiling every customer. As the profile continues getting updated on a regular basis, and plays active part in determining the nature of future campaigns, it automatically reflects the kind of experience that the customer will receive. The profile of the customer, gradually becomes more specific, reflecting genuine interest of customers and contribute exponentially to business value for both customers and retailers.

Advertising Cannot Be Truly Dynamic without Mobile
 

You kill the Smart factor ignoring smart phones

Though nascent in this stage, proximity marketing, in the near future, is sure to become more popular. It will function as a key instrument to provide advertising in retail environment with an altogether new dimension. It will become the main driving force for both digital and mobile advertising. Studies are suggesting that digital advertising would occupy almost 21% of the entire marketing expenditure in 2014. This is a remarkable growth in comparison with the investment of the recent past. Why is this sudden inclination towards digital advertising? Because, it is far more dynamic, quantifiable, adjustable and deliver friendly to the newer platforms that customers are gradually becoming familiar with. Of all the new-age platforms that customers are gradually getting habituated, the fastest growing and most renowned are smartphones. Currently, almost 91% US citizens smart mobile devices and very shortly it is expected that everyone will be having one. Digital Advertisers are well-informed about the increasingly prevailing presence of mobile power. Accordingly, they are preparing to respond to the demands of users. Considering the immense interest and investment to this platform the cost of Mobile Marketing is rapidly declining and in turn boosting the mobile digital marketing trend.

Real-time Marketing Revolution

Set Out for A New Business Destination with Mobile Platform

So, what’s the story behind such phenomenal success of proximity solutions? Quite simply, they make the use of mobile platform in a way that beats any other marketing platform and that also for two basic reasons,

1. Way it benefits customers:

Proximity Solutions deliver the right info and scope for purchasing in a fast and useful manner. The delivery of the information is also geographically appropriate, as the solution starts working and sends message to customers when they are near to the store’s location. Customers would not receive random notifications; rather only the content that is useful to them. Thanks to this attribute, the chances are high that such marketing efforts will covert to sales, quite in contrast to mass e-mail marketing that most frequently is marked by customers as junk. These are more effective that online advertisement as customers often tend to configure their computer browsers from showing any such promotion. Lastly, customers find it more comfortable and familiar way of interaction, rather than other forms, like kiosks or store specific digital platforms.

2. Way it works for retailers:

The overall scope of creating new business opportunities flourishes as Retailers receive more specific and accurate understanding of customer interest, patterns and behavior. In addition to the aforesaid benefit, the newer possibilities of marketing campaign management (real-time) and branding have been created. Real-time campaign and brand management is far more effective with the capacity to go viral, addressing customers from wider geographical locations than just local ones. Finally, retailers experience the power of rich media interaction with customers. With proximity solutions, they understand customers better than any other marketing platform and create the opportunities for them to have what customers require.

How To Draw Your Customers In:

Given the immense power that proximity marketing solutions deliver retailers, how to make the best out of this channel? The Golden Rules of Proximity Marketing:

  • Respect Customers Interest to Make them Choose You. It is important to create marketing campaigns that respect customers’ interest, time constraints and interest. Keep campaigns short, direct and easily understandable. Try to put forward the campaign in a requesting mode and strike their interest level on the first chance you get.
  • Plan campaigns in a way that the technicalities can be handled easily. You need to be very sure about keeping your marketing platform and nature of the campaign complementing one another. Not all marketing campaigns are suited to all platforms. For instance, lower bandwidth platforms cannot match the requirement that large data transfer would require. The best choice of communication protocol is Bluetooth. With this medium, large data transfers, such as video, can be completed conveniently.
  • Keep the Multilingual Factor in mind: Keep your communication channel multilingual. There are several cases where customers speak different languages and your customers should have the opportunity to opt for the language of their choosing.
  • Keep open for repurposing content. The content for one platform may not be work right on another. To overcome this limitation you should keep open with repurposing the content and make it pair correctly with the context.

The second decade of 21st century has marked the beginning of a new era in the domain of Retail Business. This is a crucial juncture where planning your marketing strategies is not enough with an average understanding of the targeted group of audience. It requires personalized touch, appeal to the personal requirement of customers at the individual level and finally keeping it simple for them to decipher. Proximity Marketing has evolved with particular attention to these factors that conventional marketing channels have not entirely been able to overcome. Embrace Proximity Marketing and take your Retail Business to a new height by knowing your customers better real-time.

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