A person can’t go anywhere today without seeing people, smartphone in hand, staring at screens as they dine, shop, ride the bus or feed the pigeons. Mobile technology is a proximity marketer’s dream come true. What greater way to utilize technology for instant response to a digital marketing strategy. Have you heard about this? Do you engage as a consumer in this marketing technique? I do. It simplifies my life. I’m out shopping, standing in the check-out line and, BAM, in two taps of my finger I have an awesome coupon.
It is so easy now to get a message on my phone and, with a tap of the finger, I have a discount in my little hands. In seconds, my purchasing experience just improved. This has made me a loyal customer to a local craft supply store that I otherwise never would have shopped at. That is how powerful this thing called proximity marketing is. I don’t know if I should be offended at the ease with which I have been sucked in or if I should just glory in the savings.
Companies can directly communicate to customers for any number of transaction relationships: concert tickets, gaming, product information, easy pay transactions. The list goes on and on. I remember back in the day when I would clip coupons out of the weekend newspaper inserts or scan through the ad slicks that were crammed into my mailbox. I believe this new way is great. I feel like by saying good-bye to paper coupons I am helping save the rainforest, or, at least the local piney woods.
Whenever you purchase a new wireless device (smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.) almost all of them are GPS and Bluetooth enabled. When you go through the set-up procedures, you are eventually prompted to enter the postal code for where you live. Once you do, your device can receive instant messages for your local shopping area. The savings opportunities don’t stop there. The device also recognizes when you enter a different area and switches to offer coupons for that area. With mobile browsing and Bluetooth capabilities, other interactive services can occur even if your device has no Internet connection. The device simply needs to be within the determined broadcast area.
Smart proximity marketing can even recognize your browsing history and determine if you fit a particular group of people and further optimize your savings options by sending “suggestions” of coupons for retailers or venues you may have never frequented but seem to be interested in. That’s how I got my first coupon for the craft store I had never shopped at before.
I was literally just passing by the store, walking across the parking lot to another shop, when my phone vibrated with a notification. I opened up my text messages and, sweet, there was a coupon for the shop I had just walked by. The day before I had browsed online for craft supplies for a project I’m working on. The marketing strategy did its job. Within twenty minutes I was in the store buying what I needed and using the coupon to save a bundle. And, I’ve been back several times since, always with a fantastic coupon.
Proximity marketers transmit a mobile application that reaches out to potential customers and redirects them toward the retailer. Once inside the store, the app can generate relevant advertising and coupons for the shopper. Proximity marketing is that last link between the consumer and the retailer before the customer reaches the check-out counter and finalizes their purchases. And it works, at least on this consumer. I’m hooked.
I used to be suspicious every time a website or retailer asked if I was willing to sign up for this or get emails for that. I also didn’t want to get inundated with junk I would have to waste time deleting. This type of marketing is perfect. It really is smart.
When I first got my new smartphone and linked everything to my Google profile, it felt kind of creepy. Like my phone was spying on me. And, maybe it is. But, in the end, I’m saving lots of money with almost no effort. I get great deals on concert tickets and the local museums simply because I browsed through a few venue websites. So, this technology is not just for buying new shoes and toothpaste at a discount.
If marketers’ strategy was to directly connect with consumers, improve their shopping experience, and create greater loyalty, they are achieving their goal with this gal.