Proximity Marketing: Brainstorming Use Cases

August 10, 2017 by Andrea Williams
Read in 7 Minutes

Welcome to the Age of Interactive, Location-Aware Tech

Now that you understand what proximity marketing is  and what it can do,  we thought it would be a very good idea to explore some creative use cases. Beacon technology, as you know it, makes use of location-based wireless devices that ping data to nearby customers via their mobile devices. You can also use them to collect behavioral data from passersby and visitors.

ABI Research forecasts that the BLE beacon market will exceed 500 million units by the year 2021. And just five years ago, beacons weren’t even an afterthought for most marketers and brands.

But what makes them extremely handy is that you can deliver immersive, triggered experiences on a personalized and case-by-case basis. The automated content is delivered to a nearby device - through a mobile app, of course - with little to no interaction from another human or user. This makes it ideal to interact and engage with customers at a crowded event when you don’t have enough representatives to meet with everyone attending.

proximity marketing

More importantly, you can leverage proximity marketing strategies to hand-craft unique experiences along the customer experience journey.

How Briefing Program Managers and Event Managers Can Use Proximity Marketing and Beacons For Events and Meetings

The technology is indeed promising, especially when you look at it from a marketing and engagement standpoint.  

1.     Content Marketing Delivery System

By integrating the digital experience with your signage and booth, customers can use your mobile app and connected beacon to engage with custom content. More specifically, you can use beacons to ping content on their screen, including visuals, videos, interactions, and text. Take it one step further and you can use beacons to allow users to control content on YOUR screen(s). This is a step toward IoT, which keeps various devices connected and in sync.

Imagine used or unused digital screens in your EBC or event hall, and creating or leveraging existing content that users can interact with on a larger scale, like social media, news, videos etc. Your content can play continuously in a loop until users interact with nearby beacons, effectively turning their mobile device(s) into a remote control.

2.     Automated Campaigns and Promotions

At your venue or event, you’re going to have different stations set up. If you are demoing various products, goods, or services you can deliver automated promos and details using location-based alerts to help extend your marketing arm. For each station, your customers would see unique details about that particular product or service.

It's a great way to introduce them to your product lineup, and offer incentives for participating in the event.

3.     Customer Journey-Based Loyalty Programs

The goal of a loyalty program is to reward returning customers by offering exclusive deals, promos, and discounts. These encourage them to upgrade or buy-in to new products you launch.

But at an event, you can setup journey-based loyalty programs that reward visitors for making it to various stops and booths. Thanks to beacons, you know who visits what station and how many times. You can also discern what beacons they interact with and how. If you set up a puzzle, for instance, at a particular booth, you can reward all customers or visitors who solve said problem, using beacon technology.

You can also increase rewards or offer exclusives based on the rate of a user’s interactions at a venue.

4.     Trigger Surveys, Polls, and Votes

Want to know what attendees think about a product, station, or booth? Just ask them directly using wireless polls and surveys. Beacons can be used to ping an interaction to nearby devices, and then collect input data after those customers have answered your query.

One example would be to set up a beacon that asks them to share their opinion on the experience just before leaving the venue location.

Similarly, you can gauge interest or make a decision using customer-weighed votes all collected via beacons, and sent via mobile devices. Let’s say you have a promotion going where you are allowing your customers to decide between two products. Whichever product is more popular, you will put into production and offer at a discounted price.

This not only helps users or customers feel like they are part of the experience, but also provides you with valuable data and insights that can be reflexively integrated back into the customer experience.

5.     Event Metrics and Meeting Insights

This use of beacons is primarily designed for professionals and your marketing team, whereas the examples above are for event and campaign managers, with the sole purpose of improving the in-person experience. The data and metrics you collect - such as behavioral patterns - can be used far into the future, as opposed to just in the moment.

You are going to want to gather as much information as possible about attendees. This will help you make more informed decisions when it comes to new products, soft launches, and even prototypes. Furthermore, you can gauge interest in your event, and see what experiences were most popular, and which ones fell flat.

Of course, all of this is only possible to discern after you’ve collected a lot of data; metrics, which you can assume, are tallied and recorded using wireless beacons. You can see things like what content was accessed, what was done with it, how often a customer visited a location or experience, and much more. You can also see how many customers participated in a particular event or experience, and get an idea of how popular it was amongst your audience.

Google Nearby, for instance, makes use of proprietary scanning techniques to get past background scanning when an app is minimized.

This data can eventually lead to predictive moves, especially regarding the delivery of experiences to customers in the future.

Proximity Marketing Is the Future

Technology is empowering us in new and innovative ways, allowing brands to get an affordable and endless supply of metrics and realistic data. We can now monitor behaviors and trigger instant alerts, thanks to wireless beacons. In the background, while all that is happening, we can collect and amass huge amounts of useful, practical data.

By combining a series of behavioral data with subjective measure, and tying it all back into specific and quantifiable business outcomes, you can get a clear, reliable ROI. You can also use this information to build a plan of action, ultimately improving your revenue and bottom line, while reducing overall costs.

Plus, beacon technology is incredibly useful for delivering custom, creative experiences to your customers.

Andrea is the Director of Marketing. She is passionate about hand-crafted brand messaging, marketing, and product stories at the intersection of market trends, development, and go-to-market strategies.