Just because it has flashing lights doesn’t automatically make it engaging
Proximity solutions are driven by the desire to elevate consumer experience. They offer the ability to deliver context aware communications to an individual at the opportune point in time, and of course, location.
With the growing pressure from the bright lights of ecommerce, traditional bricks and mortar retail has been one of the primary verticals to adopt proximity marketing. But it’s a misconception that proximity solutions are just a tool to drive high street footfall. It’s about engagement, and has applications in pretty much any industry.
Organisations can engage staff, visitors, students and patients as well as customers; or even track inventory, with Bluetooth beacons. Key messaging delivered to smartphones at precise locations and times can be security alerts and health & safety announcements not just timely offers and wayfinding.
Essentially, proximity solutions work in any environment where individuals would have their smartphone — other than their own homes. So that opens a world of possibilities.
Before we get carried away, there are a few guidelines we think are essential for successful proximity engagement. This best practice blog series is designed to help our clients achieve success, and to ensure their end users are not inundated with irrelevant content.
First up we're talking content
The ProximiPRO Engage solution offers the ability to deliver multiple content types. This includes images, bespoke html, video and QR codes. However, a wise person once said, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. It’s vital to remember that it’s a proximity solution. Consider the environment, and the mindset, of the recipient when selecting the type of content to send. Here’s our consumer-centric content checklist:
Content delivered to a mobile phone has the ability to create a 1-2-1 connection, between you and your end user, be that a customer, staff member, patient or student. So it must be relevant to their profile. That is why our cloud platform enables GDPR compliant segmentation and profiling. Segmentation ability is dependent on your app, more about this in part 2 of this blog series.
Closely following Relevancy, any content must be related to what the end user is doing and where they are at that point in time. For example, is a shopper really going to fill out a form on their mobile, when they just want to find the perfect shoes?
This is also where campaign integration comes in. Think of proximity as an extra weapon in your marketing arsenal. If you’re running a campaign across multiple media, why wouldn’t you want to back it up with a powerful call-to-action? Proximity solutions can deliver the punch line at the most vital point in the decision-making. This is easier to visualise in a retail setting. Say, a major brand has been heavily promoting a new launch, as a retailer you can deliver launch offers from the moment the customer is in the vicinity of your store. This works across other industries too; utilising hot news, trends and public safety advice.
The beacons themselves have a big part to play here. They feature the ability to set the range at which the end user receives the content. Our platform also features the ability to schedule and change content according to other momentary conditions such as time or season.
The call-to-action, as discussed above, must be actionable either via the smartphone or the physical location. Again, between our platform and the beacons, you know where and when the end user is at the point of receiving the content — you have the tools and the insights.
A smartphone screen is small, and you’re asking the consumer to change their action — e.g. interact with a museum exhibit, change location, ‘wash their hands’ in a clean area etc. Therefore, the content needs to be immediately obvious, clear and engaging.
Quality not quantity
This is primarily end user driven. It is vital that proximity communications are used for impact not intrusion. Bombard someone too many times with irrelevant balderdash and the knock-on effect will be a disgruntled end user.
If you can tick every element in our content checklist, you’re well on your way to a successful proximity campaign. Read parts 2 and 3 of this blog series to understand the how your app, the beacons and the platform also play vital roles in proximity engagement.