How proximity marketing works

When a user with a mobile device, usually a smartphone, tablet or wearable, is in proximity to a specific location they can interact with content or have actions enabled that aren’t available outside of that location.

For example, entering a proximity zone could enable them to see a voucher on their phone. Or receive an automatic message about the waiting time in a theme park queue (and would they like to purchase a fast pass?). Or a video about a car’s safety features could be played when the car buyer sits inside the car in the showroom.

Enterprises can also use the technology to give access to areas, validate an employee is in a precise location or enable location-based data gathering that optimises processes.

Using technology like low energy beacons and geo-fences a retailer, leisure operator, museum or shopping centre can quickly and cost-effectively create proximity marketing zones and engage with their visitors.

In fact there are few public places that wouldn’t benefit in some way from using the technology and there hundreds of use cases for the technology in enterprises.

As well as the ability to create engagement, proximity marketing zones can also be used to understand customer movement and behaviour when they are in-store. It’s also possible to use the technology to count footfall – a highly valuable benefit to landlords, marketing departments, operations directors and more.

Using Airspace to create a proximity marketing zone

Airspace uses a number of technologies to create proximity marketing zones, including beacons, geo-fences and GSM signals. For this example we’ll use beacons to demonstrate how the technology is used. There is a more information on how beacons work here:

To create a proximity marketing campaign using beacons you need three things:

Message on a users phone
Campaign Management System

Low energy beacons

Smart devices

Campaign management system

For our example we are going to create a use case: A department store wants to promote the launch of an exclusive brand of shoes. As the shoes are very fashionable, they want the message to be seen both in the shoe department but also in the women’s fashion department.

Proximity zones broadcasting to nearby smartphone

The store staff will either place beacons in the areas where they want the discount message to be seen or in most cases, the store will have created a network of beacons and the campaign manager simply needs to select the beacons they want to associate with the campaign.

Once the beacons have been allocated or selected, the campaign creative needs to be associated with the beacons. In Airspace’s Control Room, the manager can either use the editing tools to create the messaging that will be seen by the customer or they can upload creative from their design department/creative agency.

When the creative is in place, the manager sets the frequency rules. These are extremely important as they make sure that the customer isn’t sent a message every time they pass a beacon. A typical frequency rule could be to only alert the customer when they have spent a minimum of 5 minutes in the proximity zone around the beacon, and to not send them another message within that zone for another 24 hours.

If the activity requires redemption of a voucher, by say a third party, the manager can add that to the campaign and then they are ready to send the proximity marketing campaign live. This happens in real time and the beauty of using Airspace’s platform is that the manager can change the campaign at any time to optimise customer’s reactions to the campaign.

Using the Location Intelligence part of the platform, the manager can see how many customers are opening the message and if the campaign is linked to the sales system, see immediately how successful the campaign is at converting sales.  

The campaign can run indefinitely, but if there is a cut-off point, the beacons can be left in place, simply monitoring footfall or they can be used with a new campaign. They can also be moved to a new location, which simply requires an update in Control Room to let it know which location is now attributed to the beacon, creating a brand new proximity marketing zone.

This process is exactly the same for any type of content, from vouchers in a store to an interactive educational module released to smart devices near a museum exhibit. This example is just for a couple of departments in a large store, but an Airspace network can also be set up to manage an entire chain of nationwide stores, or to target only a geographical region of stores. Airspace gives you maximum control and flexibility.

Our proximity marketing specialists can help you create a campaign, from conception to final delivery. Contact them about how you can best utilise the technology.

Ad agencies should be working with the retail and marketing departments directly to produce in-store experiences