The well-known “4P” rule of marketing (product, price, place, promotion) was for years the starting point for many sales strategies. But the world is changing and so are the consumers that companies are trying to reach. In the era of a growing number of prosumers – demanding and conscious clients – it is increasingly important to build a deep relationship between customers and a product and increase their awareness of the services that you offer. Another “P” will be helpful here – proximity marketing.
Generally speaking, proximity marketing is a new approach to marketing that involves the use of mobile channels in advertising content communicated to consumers. The key in this case is the concept of proximity. Through the use of communication technologies such as Bluetooth, WiFi or beacons, clients can receive fixed messages when they are in a certain place, for example in the proximity of your stationary store.
Is it worth investing in?
The use of this innovative approach is associated with numerous benefits. Besides the obvious opportunity to increase sales, benefits come in the form of increased brand awareness. Such a, campaign by inMarket, generated a 20-fold increase in the desire to purchase and a 36% boost in client knowledge about the product. Another important advantage of proximity marketing campaigns is the ability to generate real-time statistics about customer behavior through fast processing on marketing platforms like Synerise.
Now let’s look at implementing such a strategy.
1. Promote customer awareness
Red Bull is a company widely known for its innovative marketing campaigns. You probably remember the Red Bull Stratos jump – a jump from the stratosphere, made by Felix Baumgartner. An extraordinary event that spurred the imagination of millions of people around the world, while also promoting the brand in the hundreds of millions re-shares of the film. But you do not have to invest in this kind of solution to build positive customer engagement for a product or service. Red Bull has also used proximity marketing for years. How? It’s simple. Customers who visit a store can receive a special coupon that can be used at the cash register. There are two conditions for participating in the campaign.
First, customers must have Bluetooth enabled in their smartphones since this is the technology that enables proximity applications. The second condition is the customer’s consent to recieve advertising content (opt-in model). It’s true that Bluetooth use rates are still rising but this can be encouraged with the appropriate content. For Red Bull campaigns consumers may see relevant messages on displays installed in the store. You also need to consider the privacy of your clients. Therefore, any communication of a commercial nature must be preceded by clear consent for it to be displayed.
2. Use the potential of differentiated data
According to a report by Gartner, nearly five billion devices are currently connected to the internet, of which almost three billion are consumer devices (PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc.). These figures are increasing year by year. Depending on what type of business you run, you can have access to the information these devices gather through different sources: CRM systems, web applications and mobile services, etc. However, if you implement a solution based on proximity marketing, you will gain access to the next era data collection. You will be able to adjust your offer to the expectations of clients and gain knowledge about their offline behavior. Full use of customer data requires an entirely new strategy, thinking in accordance with the omnichannel model, in which various sources are analyzed in combination with each other.
For example, if you run a store and you decide to install a beacon network, you should also invest in a comprehensive marketing platform through which you will be able to integrate online and offline data and use behavioural data to create better marketing strategies.
3. Don’t send too much information
An important element of any proximity marketing strategy is sending notifications but you need to limit yourself in the number of notifications you send. According to the inMarket study, the optimal number of notifications sent to your costumer in the course of his stay in a store is…one. Receiving any additional messages increases the number of abandonments of the application by up to 313%! According to the authors of the inMarket study, a large percentage of these abandonments result in uninstalling the application. This analysis is not necessarily the final argument in the discussion of the optimal amount of sent push messages. However it points to the significant problem of information overload among customers. Due to the increasing popularity of beacons, there is a danger of sending notifications to often. If your business is surrounded by many other companies – for example, in a mall – you should pay special attention to the number of messages sent. Remember, that the impact on customer engagement may be the nature of its activity or time of a year. For example, you can expect a decrease in the amount of people using the application after Christmas sales.
4. Content and context – keywords
The strength of this marketing strategy is that it is carried out based on the current needs and circumstances of the clients. Therefore the context of time and space and content of the message play an important role.
Assessing the relevant circumstances in which the customers make purchases is not easy. It requires a thorough knowledge of your own brand, services or products. Then you need to know more about current and potential customers – this is when platforms such as Synerise might be useful.
Finally, through implementation of proximity marketing solutions, you gain the ability to carry out precise and effective campaigns. You should take care that notifications sent will be based on the previous behavior of the buyer.
Creating a sales strategy based on proximity marketing is a complex process. It is not just about the physical aspect of “proximity”, but you must also understand proximity as a better way of understanding customer behavior and expectations. Proximity still has a key role to play in enhancing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.