It’s all about physical location, and the Marketer’s ability to digitally enhance local communications, in real time.
The digital platform world is growing and evolving at such a rapid pace today that there’s no telling where it will head next or who will use it in the most unique and effective way, and Location-Based Marketing Technology, and Proximity Marketing is something that’s certainly on the rise.
As an umbrella term, Location-Based Marketing Technology is all about reaching potential customers within a specific physical space and pushing contextually relevant communications that are accessible in their local area which may be of interest them.
For example, the new iBeacon device works by sending out a Bluetooth Low Energy signal inside a bricks and mortar shop, designed to communication with specific SmartPhone apps. These apps may react to the localised signal and let the customer know of specific discounts or new products in store that they should check out.
As a secondary use, it provides these locations with analytics of how many devices the Beacon has communicated with, and can be used for more innovative applications like directional messages, check-in prompts, local event reminders and even access pass payments.
Another example are Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, which are electronic barcodes which can interact, via tiny antennae, with a localised network that can track them. This can be utilised as simply as placing these tags on in-store products which will automatically send the bill to your phone, thus bypassing the need for check-out lines, or more innovatively, such as placing them on conference and event wristbands which react to certain pieces of technology within the pavilion for a scavenger hunt, or allow sharing of an experience online.
This kind of technology introduces a real paradigm shift in the way brands communicate with people, given that it integrates the digital world with the physical world closely, providing a very interactive and convenient experience (if utilised well). The ability of Location-Based Marketing Technology allows for targeting at the point of actual engagement and is a favourable balance between personalised and automated customer service.
Proximity marketing will give rise to a greater focus on:
(1) Mobile Device ordering
(2) Connecting with other local businesses and customers
(3) Discounts and coupon messaging
(4) Social Media integration with Location Based Technology
(5) Pushing local updates and notifications inside a store
(6) Greater integration between digital and physical navigation
(7) Delivery services.
Obviously, there are concerns with the protection of people’s privacy, just like it always is with social media. As such, the onus is on Marketers to obtain permission from customers and take great initiative to keep them comfortable and safe, not scare customers away from utilising this technology for their convenience.
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