Proximity Marketing: Driving Digital Business Growth

May 2021

Proximity marketing occurs when a company finds ways to reach consumers with localized messages within a range of 100-500 yards. Sometimes, simply knowing an item or service exists can be enough to convince someone to buy it. And if the retailer doesn't have that item in stock nearby, they'll often go out of their way to get it for the potential customer (sometimes driving up sales by as much as 60%).

The most successful example of proximity marketing has been the Starbucks app. This app allows users to order ahead, then pick up their coffee at the register with no waiting. Starbucks has added this feature to over 7,000 stores and it's been wildly successful in boosting sales.

Starbucks is not alone. Companies are finding more ways to reach consumers through digital and mobile proximity marketing strategies every day. Mobile apps allow people to "check in" or "use" a store, product or service from their phone or personal device from wherever they are. The following blog post will provide a definition to proximity marketing, and detail some of the ways it is used in marketing campaigns. It will also go into how digital businesses can incorporate these techniques into their own marketing strategies.

Proximity Marketing Definition: A type of marketing that uses technologies such as Bluetooth and GPS to trigger messages or content when consumers are near a certain area or at a specific location within an area. To put it simply, proximity marketing bypasses the usual media channels like email or social networks for contact with customers (although they can be used in conjunction). This method makes use of two types of "proximity triggers.

In-store Proximity Marketing triggers: A customer logs on to an app, lets themselves be recognized and accepts to get a message in return. In the meantime the store is equipped with beacons so that when the customer walks through the store, he gets messages offering him extra value.

Geo-fencing: If there are multiple stores in one area, a simple way of targeting customers is to put geo-fences around them. A geo fence can be defined as an invisible perimeter around any location which can trigger an action once a certain condition is met. For example, if you want to announce your daily specials on Facebook but only if your location is nearby.

Mobile app: with geo-fencing, beacons, and GPS technology, you can use your mobile app to set up geo-fences. You can set up beacons in the store or even within a favorite product to send out messages on the fly.

Retail stores are exploring ways to engage customers with their loyalty programs or promotional campaigns – however, marketers are looking for a more personal touch that will encourage customers to return in the future. One way of doing this is through activation codes issued through a mobile app in which customers will get points as they scan unique QR codes at their favorite stores — building loyalty and establishing a true understanding of what your brand stands for has never been easier.

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