Proximity marketing: What is it and what can it do for you?

Proximity marketing is an innovative technique which allows your business to directly connect with potential customers before they’ve even thought of you. Using hyper-localised wireless methods, such as Bluetooth, you are able to send information to nearby smartphones, notifying the potential customer of your business’ presence in the area.

It seems futuristic, but proximity marketing has actually been used for centuries in the form of banners and signage sitting outside your store-front to grab the attention of passersby. Proximity marketing’s digital facelift means it is harder for potential customers to ignore your localised advert as it is buzzing in their hand rather than a passive physical print advertisement.

How does it work?

The technology behind proximity marketing is simple and affordable for all types of businesses. It involves purchasing a beacon device which deploys a targeted message to smartphones that have their Bluetooth activated. The beacon is mounted onto a surface on your premises, and when a potential customer walks by within range of the beacon, the message is deployed – displaying as a notification on their smartphone.

What can it do for my business?

Proximity marketing can be used in a multitude of ways to suit your business or organisation’s specific needs:

Mapping: This collects data on where exactly your customers visit in-store. This enables you to track the route they take and generates hotspots to determine where the best location is for POS advertising or promotions.

Guide users: With advanced beacon technology, you are able to guide consumers through airports, shopping centres or even entire cities, creating an interactive experience for the consumer which informs them of their surroundings.

Frequency: This allows you to measure how often people visit a certain place, and you can use that data to collect information about how long they spend in a certain spot and how this converts to sales.

Loyalty: The messages you deploy can be loyalty focused, encouraging visitors to sign up to your rewards scheme or offering promotional discounts as they browse.

Customer recalls: There is technology available which knows when somebody has left without making a purchase. This is the perfect opportunity to send a notification as they leave the store to entice them back with a promotion.

Cross-selling: You can target cross-selling notifications to customers who are queuing in a certain location, and suggest other products which they may wish to take a look at before they purchase. This can be made even more specific by including products which are being sold at the till point.

Gamification: Some businesses are shaking up the traditional consumer process by creating fun and interactive treasure hunts to encourage a sale.

In-store notifications: Send your potential consumer notifications of the latest deals whilst they are looking around to entice them into buying.

Who can benefit?

Proximity marketing can be used by all types of businesses and organisations, and is not strictly for commercial use. Museums, festivals, tourist attractions, train stations, councils, arcades, shopping centres and others can all take advantage of this hyper-localised technology to reach out to their audience. For example, a museum may install beacons at key historical points to deploy a message or link with information about what the visitor is looking at. It saves the customer time because they don’t have to download an app to get the information, it just pings straight to their smartphone. This interactive method of customer engagement is unobtrusive and forms a relationship between the consumer and organisation through technology.

It is particularly useful if you are tucked away behind the main high street, or are fighting competition in a large shopping centre. By directly targeting your customer with a message to their smartphone, you are extending a hand and helping them navigate their way through the clutter.

If you’d like to learn more about how proximity marketing can enhance your business we would love to hear from you. Get in touch with us on 0333 123 0999 or email