[This article was written by Ashley Kimler.]
While omnichannel retailers are experimenting with new technologies in their mobile marketing campaigns, there is one critical component they’re lacking. And if you don’t have it, it might make or break your project. So what is the top tactic you lack?
The answer is probably “location” or proximity marketing. Every retailer should try this tactic in their local mobile marketing campaign. And, if you already implement proximity marketing, you may not be maximizing it to its full potential. Now let’s expand on how it is executed correctly with a few tips.
Proximity Targeting in a Mobile Marketing Campaign
One way to accomplish proximity marketing in a mobile campaign for omnichannel retail is by getting the mobile customer to visit the store. Invite users to shop in-store and let them gather points via your mobile site or app. Deploy a couple of beacons in the front of the entrance of the shop, by a sales rack or by the exit doors. Then configure the tags in your mobile engagement automation system. Identify these beacons and name them with a specific purpose besides the tracking code.
After you set up the beacons, then draw your mobile engagement strategy. Is there customer feedback you’d like to gather? Better set up in-app surveys or polls. Do you want to attract new users to your shop? Better invite them to an exclusive sale in store and give them a promo code via push message. Perhaps you want users to spend more time inside? Then arrange a loyalty program so they can shop in-store with loyalty points accumulated in the app. Want to create more buzz? Set up a pop-up store, invite customers and reward them if they refer new visitors.
One point to keep in mind is that with all the buzz you create, you’re likely to have an influx of multi-channel customers, which means you’ll need to be prepared for that. So, make sure your website servers can handle it and your fulfillment processes are automated. Use inventory management software to make sure your reflected stock levels are in-alignment with the actual number of products you have on-hand.
Now, here’s something to keep in mind as you flush out your proximity marketing mobile campaign: STOP SPAMMING! Now that you’ve set up your proximity mobile campaign take a step back. Study your users.
- Where do they travel inside the store?
- Which aisles do they dwell by?
- How often do they visit your store and how long do they stay?
After studying your users’ behavior for a few days, then send a highly personalized message or offer. The key is not to overwhelm your customer, but engage them contextually at the right time, format (the offer) and place!
How Does Proximity Marketing Work?
Geo-fencing is a virtual geographic boundary around an area using GPS or RFID technology. It enables software to trigger a notification when a mobile device enters or leaves the area. It’s a unique way to engage people through their mobile phones and provides context to your marketing campaigns that you just can’t get with other channels. Here are four examples of successful geo-fencing tactics.
There are many unique characteristics of mobile marketing. One of which is geo-fencing. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s are four examples of mobile apps which I believe leverage fantastic geo-fencing. Have you ever been in a specific location and received a triggered notification relevant to that location? You might have experienced a geo-fenced app.
Example #1: LetGo: Buy & Sell Merchandise Locally
LetGo is your friendly, neighborhood, yard sale-ish kind of app. Think of it like Craigslist, only better. Using geo-fencing through GPS, LetGo triggers sales nearby your location. Likewise, the app triggers push notifications for the items you’re interested in. Within my geographic range, I can find shoes, bikes, clothing and other products I’m in the market for. Also, if I move to a new location, LetGo triggers me additional list of inventory I’ve shown interest in.
Example #2: VILA: Shop for Clothing
Every woman’s favorite retail clothing brand, VILA has recently updated their whole mobile engagement plan. Last summer, I deleted the app because they didn’t notify me of anything like sales or rewards. They also rarely refresh the app content, which I find bothersome. However, this year, I gave the app another shot and installed it again. Now they engage me with notifications. From spring dresses to women’s day 10% off sale, all notifications happened while I was walking nearby their flagship store in Amsterdam.
Example #3: Culture Trip: All-Around Travel App
Culture Trip delivers strong messages when you are in a hot spot. Walk within the geographic range of central London, and they’ll trigger this article about the monuments you need to visit in the city! Which brings us to our next app to explore.
Example #4: Local Guides: Google Maps Add-On
This list wouldn’t be complete without one of the most useful apps of all time. The Local Guides app gathers the global community to contribute photos and reviews to map the world. Members gain points, levels, and earn rewards. Whenever you snap a picture in an underdeveloped or sparsely-known location like a park or a shop, Google triggers a message asking if you’d like to contribute it to Maps.
Sometimes the Local Guides app notifies users when something notable is happening nearby — a festival, concert, comedy show, or something else. Local Guides provides precise geo-fencing, and incentivize users through amazing travel gamification. Google maps wouldn’t be as enriched with content and information if it weren’t for their crowdsourcing efforts for sustaining a thriving mobile community.
Do you think proximity marketing is right for you? Why or why not? Let readers know in the comments below.
Ashley Kimler is the Captain of Conversion at Heroic Search in Tulsa. She’s been working in the digital marketing industry for over a decade. Follow @ashleykimler and @heroicsearch on Twitter to see what she and her team share next.