Proximity Marketing: What Is It And How Does It Work?

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Imagine that you are walking down the main street in your town. As soon as you cross the Multiplex, you get an SMS informing you that you can get two tickets for the night movie screening at 50% of the price if you buy in the next 5 minutes. You might give in to the impulse and buy the tickets.

Proximity Marketing is a location-based strategy

No, we aren’t describing science fiction story but reality with Proximity Marketing, which attempts to send promotional or informational messages to consumers located in a specified region, who have opted to receive such notifications and who have the required instruments to receive those messages. Note that although we say that people must opt to receive these notifications, many businesses use covert methods to get their target consumers to agree.

When you move from one city to another or one country to another, the telecommunications network to which your phone is attached detects your location change and sends you a welcome message with the option of selecting a new network. This can easily be extended into sending a message about the best hotel deals or phone numbers of cab services. Your message can be customized based on a set of preferences that you have selected earlier or based on your prior choices. Other means of detecting location are also used to target customers.

Early Systems For Proximity Marketing

The first methods that were used to target potential customers for proximity marketing were less reliable. GSM and Bluetooth technology was commonly used, but consumers can easily switch off these services as there was no need for them to be turned on at all times. As the use of Bluetooth headphones becomes more prevalent, some marketing experts expect that the use of Bluetooth systems for proximity marketing will come back into use.

Smartphones Are Tracking Devices In Our Pockets

As technology advances, it becomes more and more easy for business to track our locations accurately. Smartphones are constantly connected to the internet and location services may be switched off, but prompt to reconnect are continuously sent to smartphones. Businesses are always collecting location information and other data such as browsing history. They can use this information to make targeted advertisements to potential customers as they pass by a store, or suggest purchases relevant to the location history collected.

A firm that uses direct marketing would most likely sell its products through it’s website

If your smartphone wireless is enabled, then you might receive location-specific messages in certain areas where a free WiFi connection is available. For instance, if you are walking down the market street, you might receive a message that announces an exotic buffet lunch spread for $30 only. Take another instance, you are walking down the street, and as you cross the bookstore, you get a beep on your phone telling you about the latest best-seller, which you can buy at a 10% discount only within the next 10 minutes.

All these notifications would likely take you to a company website so that the website can add direct marketing tactics on the websites to close the sale. In other words, proximity marketing can attract the customer with an enticing offer, and the website’s direct marketing will sweeten the deal.

Note that proximity marketing uses technology that is both dependent on location, and specific to a timeframe. That is, it is of no use to send a notification to someone about an offer after they have already passed the store, or without giving them a time limit. The messages must be prompt, straight to the point, and with a specific call to action.

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