As the digital landscape is ever-changing; so is the way in which marketers try to connect with their target audience(s). With most of us clutching our precious smartphones in our hands, or at least remaining within 3 feet of it at all times (come on… you know it’s true!) the best way to immediately deliver offers, information and incentives is right to the phone!
We already know that fighting for attention span these days is an uphill battle, and one that a weary marketer must continue to stay the course. That is why proximity marketing is such a great response to the need of delivering timely, relevant, accurate content to people right at the precise time they need it. (even if they don’t know it… right?)
We have been working on some really fun, innovative projects over the last year involving proximity marketing tools, which conveniently are integrated right into our Software Platform for easy deployment and management.
Let’s take a look at the options for Proximity Marketing:
These little nuggets pack quite a punch! Small in size, but mighty in capability, the beacon can literally be placed anywhere you would like to send a signal to a phone. This signal is sent via Bluetooth, and most smartphones are already equipped with beacon-readers that interact nicely with apps that facilitate beacon messages. Places to put a beacon: entrance to a store, any aisle or specific merchandise area, various places within a hotel or resort, a conference center, multiple businesses within a specific district of a city, a school, a hospital, a museum… opportunity is pretty vast with these little emitters of information. You can send an alert, a special deal, an incentive to stop, a coupon, a fun factoid or any relevant message. We currently are deploying outdoor waterproof beacons that communicate via a custom app for a hospitality client – we foresee their guest engagement and satisfaction going through the roof in the near future!
Smartphones today have a GPS chip inside, and the chip uses satellite data to calculate your exact position (usually when you’re outside and the sky is clear), which services such as Google Maps can then map. This is a pretty accurate form of pinpointing location. Based on coordinates (think: latitude/longitude), GPS has the capability of delivering your location within 3 inches of where you are. As you know, coordinates are a long string of numbers, with most of those coming after the decimal. The more numbers after the decimal, the better the location-return will be. Successful marketing campaigns utilizing GPS location services include travelers landing at an airport and being welcomed to the city, sporting arenas, festivals and more.
- Geo Location
When a GPS signal is unavailable, geo location can use information from cell towers to triangulate your approximate position. In the past, this method was not as accurate as GPS, but has improved greatly in the last couple of years. While results can still be a bit skewed, this has proved to be a decent vehicle to deliver proximity-related information to users, especially in a heavily-covered 4G market; results are fast and increasingly accurate.
- Cisco WiFi Connected Mobile Experience
Dedicated WiFi networks take things up a notch. We all know what happens when we are in a large building or hiding out in a bomb shelter… no signal! WiFi answers that problem for expansive properties or areas that cannot rely on GPS or cellular signal strength. As an authorized provider of this service; we are able to work with Cisco customers that have implemented the Cisco WiFi solution throughout their property. Our clients are able to send out strategic push notifications, mapping and search-specific content by pairing custom apps with the Cisco WiFi technology.
The name explains it fairly well; this technology literally places a ‘fence’ around a specific area you want to send messages to. You can either drop a pin on a map, or draw an area on a map that needs to be included in the fence. This technology is considered “hyper-local” in the sense that you can start as small as a four-way intersection, you can cover a 4-block radius around a dropped pin, or cover an entire city, state, or even region. You will want to take population into consideration if you are working within a monthly allotment of messages, you could reach your max quite quickly depending on how big of a geo fence you set up.
There’s no shortage of ways to utilize proximity marketing methods to drill down and get your targeted messages to the specific people that need to receive them. This makes targeting and retargeting efforts easier, and allows marketers to make a difference by understanding location needs better, rather than just casting a wide net and hoping to haul in a good catch. Those days are long gone – marketers need to really study data and behavior, and in turn, deliver up relevant content. No one said it was easy; but we sure think our software makes it a lot easier!