What is Proximity Marketing ?

Marketing has changed a lot from the time 4 P’s concept was introduced. Today the most important aspect for your product to outsell your competitors is Location ( An another term used for place ) is an important criteria which decides whether you will stay in the market or not and that is why we should take into consideration the concept of Proximity Marketing. The concept is still evolving but i will try to explain that why it is so important and why every marketer should understand it and use it as a part of his/her marketing strategy.

What is Proximity Marketing ?

Proximity means nearness in space, time, or relationship so if you can advertise by initiating a communication with your customer which is timely , relevant and personal then you are doing proximity

How companies do it ?

Companies use the personal devices of people to do it. Forbes said 86 million consumers will make a purchase on their device in 2016 with 96 percent of consumers using their smartphones to find the best available deal.We are yet to see the actual statistics but if out of 86 million people 82.56 million are using their mobiles to find the best deal. Can we ignore them no we cannot ! That is the reason why companies are shifting there focus to proximity marketing.

I want to share some examples to help you understand it better.

Amazon powered Dash buttons : These buttons make the routine purchases simpler and more automatic. How these buttons do this ? You use amazon app to pair button to your product then it is just done whenever you are running low in that product You press this button and you receive the product.

The buttons are available for various products starting from Neutrogena to Quaker oats.                                                                                               Alexa Echo dot : It is an another example of proximity .It is voice controlled hand free device it interacts with you just like “ Siri “ .It can do numerous things such as giving info on weather and controlling lights but the important aspect is that Alexa also has skills

    • You can ask Alexa for a pizza from Dominos and she will order the saved order in your account .
    • You can ask Alexa to order flowers for your girlfriend.
    • You can ask Alexa for the best deal today on electronics.
    • The Alexa has 10,000 skills and they are increasing as new and new companies are getting connected to it.

Now what it has to do with proximity marketing ?

    • The advice given by Alexa on best deal on iPhone will affect the business of an outlet , which is giving the best deal offline but nobody knows about it. Even though you are selling the cheapest iPhone but customer will not buy from your shop because customer don’t know about the price offered by you
    • The third and last example i want to explain in detail is Tesco : Tesco as we ll know is a big retailer.Tesco understand its customers more then anybody else.
    • Some customers are not able to shop for daily groceries due to long working hours Tesco has established virtual stores to convert the problem of customers into benefit.
    • These virtual stores are at metro stations , bus stops and other public places.The customers can scan the QR codes by using an app named as Home Plus .Once the order is placed it reaches to the customer home same day. Even though Tesco is not there at the metro station or the other places but Tesco still sells the one or the other product to the consumers by using the mobile phones of the customers and the virtual stores at the public places.
    • This shows the importance of being in proximity of your customer . To stay in business you need not to  spend a hefty amount of money on advertising to remind people to  buy your company’s detergent or oats  but you just have to make their purchases more automatic and simple.
    • To sell your product you just have to provide your customer the right information about your product when he needs it the most and have to make your product available to him in the most comfortable way possible.
    • Many stores ranging from fashion to grocery have installed beacons in their stores.

What a beacon is and how it is important for proximity marketing ?

Beacons are small  devices which transmit small amounts of data via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

Beacon transmit a code or say an ID .This means a smartphone app can immediately recognize that the incoming ID is important and that it’s from that particular store. The ID, however, has little meaning on its own; it’s entirely up to an app or other program to recognize what it means.

After receiving the code from the beacon the app will decide what to do next or say the app has been programmed to do a certain task when it receives the code say to send an offer related to the products available in the store or a membership program benefits or some free points for you to redeem.

Once you are in touch with your customers the opportunities are endless.You can convince your customer to buy the product ( Attract ) or you can retain him by providing him the extra loyalty points (Retain ) or you can have growth in sales by providing him a personalized discount coupon of 1 on 1 ( Grow ). By using proximity marketing as a tool you fulfill that old and good definition of marketing in a most simple way : To attract , retain , and grow your customers.

In the last I want to say that this is the start of future marketing the day is not far when you will be moving around in your room and your coffee machine will ask you to order coffee beans and will inform you about various discounts available in Big Bazaar.


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