We live in an era where information is just a click away. The prosperity of Information Technology had encouraged the free flow of information in our daily lives, causing us to have slimmer attention to details around us. This has then caused the competition among brands’ Marketing Communication to elevate — competing for attention, and competing for consistent impression from audiences today.
Numerous tactical enhancements were introduced to encourage competence in Marketing Communication, from social media marketing to content marketing, and recently — Proximity Marketing.
Proximity Marketing refers to targeting a specific audience at a close range with personalised offers. Triggering the right offer to the right person, at the right place and at the right time just when the person may want it. Generally, the practice involves integrating a mobile app with a Bluetooth Technology — iBeacon of Apple, or Eddystone of Google. So, when someone with the mobile apps installed enters into the range of 30-60m where either an iBeacon or Eddystone is installed, notification is triggered to engage the audience.
When 46% of brands in the U.S. reported adopting the practice for the respective sales-centric campaign in 2015, significant in improvement in both engagement & conversion were documented. However, we wonder why the practice has slowed down 5 years later, and it never seems to have taken flight in Malaysia.
Like the rise of all new strategies — concepts ought to face-off the truth in the market. And so pilots were embarked with impressive test results. These test results were too convincing that we overlooked the fundamentals of marketing — how consumers behave in a different context, and the mature condition for practice.
Thanks to the many brave marketers who always race to invest in advanced marketing technologies, we finally uncover the truth from their pioneered campaigns.
So, what went wrong?
Proximity Marketing advocates programmed technology to segment offers according to profiled data collected from a specific integrated mobile apps.
What are the odds of having that specific integrated mobile apps installed in the audience's phone when he/she fell onto the proximity range?
What are the odds for the audience to turn on his/her notification of that specific mobile app?
What are the odds of the audience not being annoyed by more than 1 proximity notification, if the technology was widely adopted by many other marketers?
What are the odds of the targeted audience not being mindful about his/her privacy being invaded, when data collection was publicly communicated as one of the primary benefits in Proximity Marketing?
And, what about the odds of the audience having their Bluetooth turned on as they enter the proximity range?
We over-estimated how much technologies could help, and not to mention how much our consumers are willing to give up their privacy over a 30% discount.
Despite the truth that was uncovered, we believe that Proximity Technologies has a different context that works perfectly well for our consumers, maybe it’s not sales-centric campaign, maybe it’s a simple Informative Marketing.
What if it’s a place where our consumers definitely visit frequently, such as a grocery? What if the Mobile App empowers practical function such as payment / delivery status, of which will motivate its users to turn on notification and share location, rather than just triggering offers or updates?
It’s by nature that our consumer falls onto the Proximity range when they visit, such as going through product isles in a grocer, it’s the informative notification that our consumers will be happy to find out more, such as information about the grocer item or ingredients.
To achieve segmented marketing with personalised offers, we ought to consider the context with much scrutiny, without forgetting the first and foremost fundamental of marketing was never about engaging our consumers but making them acknowledge what we do and remember our name.
Proximity marketing offers a comprehensive strategy to engage consumers. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.strategyand.pwc.com/gx/en/reports/the-missing-link.pdf.
The Impact of Proximity Marketing on Consumer Reaction and Firm Performance: A Conceptual and Integrative Model . (2015). Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/96fc/3412025d1223f8aa32c35aa167c97d4d8218.pdf2018: https://venturebeat.com/2018/10/27/why-android-nearby-ibeacons-and-eddystone-failed-to-gain-traction/.
Image Credit: Frugal Entrepreneur