Commentary

Proximity Marketing Is Changing Retail Rules

 Here’s a statistic that should grab the attention of every marketer and merchant: According to an IBM study, 72% of consumers will act on a call to action in a marketing message if they receive it while in sight of the retailer.

That’s a huge potential conversion rate, but how can marketers ensure prospective customers get the right message at the right place to make the sale?

Another statistic may hold the key: More than 1 billion people worldwide now use mobile phones. That’s why proximity marketing is changing the rules in retail -- and delivering value to retailers and customers alike.

The connection is clear: Marketers that can reach the customer at the point of sale can harness the enormous potential of proximity marketing. Thanks to a pervasive mobile culture in which consumers use smartphones as portable windows to the world, marketers have the power to deliver the right message at the right place when they combine mobile messaging capabilities with digital signage tools.

These tools allow them to deliver rich media, permission-based messages that engage consumers on a personal level-- all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional marketing campaign.

It works by using digital signage networks to detect smartphones within range and broadcast marketing messages. Consumers opt-in to receive offers; their privacy is protected, and there is no charge to consumers for the message.

What they get in return for their opt-in is relevant, targeted offers on items of interest and an opportunity to receive point-of-sale discounts on goods and services within sight while they’re already engaged in enjoyable activities.

Merchants using proximity marketing strategies have the opportunity to reach customers when they’re most likely to buy. Plus, they receive unparalleled insights into consumer behavior. Effective proximity marketing tools deliver business intelligence and real-time metrics that enable retailers to gauge interest and response rates and dynamically adjust messaging to generate ROI.

Because of these natural advantages, proximity marketing is rapidly changing the rules in retail, and marketers that adopt proximity tools early will gain a competitive advantage. Bolstered by association with a mature digital signage industry and new mobile media messaging capabilities that speak to consumers in the interactive language they prefer, proximity marketing is poised to profoundly transform the retail landscape.  

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5 comments about "Proximity Marketing Is Changing Retail Rules".
  1. Adam Hollander from Brand Marketers , March 26, 2012 at 9:01 a.m.
    So true. This is very useful because it allows real engagement with the Outdoor Advertising. With well crafted content, coupons, interactive gaming, etc the user experience is useful and lets intrusive then our current best practices. We are using this to fill in where guerilla tactics used to be the only option. Adam Hollander | @brandmarketers "The most important element in any consumer interaction is a positive brand experience!"
  2. Al Terry from Ayudame Solutions , March 26, 2012 at 2:52 p.m.
    Great point Adam! This is exciting news for brand marketers that can deliver on effective interactive marketing campaigns.
  3. John Grono from GAP Research , March 26, 2012 at 8:51 p.m.
    Which is why floor decals and in-store radio work so well. I wonder what the cost comparison is.
  4. Doug Garnett from Atomic Direct , March 27, 2012 at 7:38 p.m.
    This is absolutely true. I'd just be cautious about taking it too far. The types of products/offer/actions that can be driven by this are limited. So when the opportunity exists it should be grabbed. Yet when a thorough message is needed, proximity marketing is a very poor approach. So it needs to be taken with care.
  5. courtney cose from localzonely , February 26, 2013 at 11:22 a.m.
    Great article Alex. IBM is right; there is no better place to market to your customers than when they’re in sight of your business. With proximity marketing, businesses can market to new and existing customers in their area, in real time. Shoppers can benefit from this as well, by finding deals or incentives wherever they are shopping, whether they are down the street or on vacation, right from their mobile devices. Apps like www.localzonely.com are leading the way in transforming how businesses connect to shoppers and travelers. Courtney Cose www.localzonely.com