Digital marketing has provided businesses with the ability to market their products and services to customers all over the world. Although this represents an excellent opportunity to skyrocket the revenue of one’s business, it can also lead to devastating losses if you’re trying to sell the wrong thing to the wrong audience.
That’s why marketers have been relentlessly fine-tuning various digital advertising strategies, to ensure that the right marketing message reaches the right people. Thanks to the buyer persona and audience segmentation, businesses can now present their products to people who are already interested in what they’re offering. This way, they can make the most out of their advertising dollars.
That said, experienced marketers took it a step further. With the help of proximity marketing, brands can now grab the attention of potential buyers who are in close physical proximity to their business.
This gives forward-thinking individuals a unique opportunity to white label proximity marketing and piggy-back on the success of these businesses. They receive a new, effective way to attract customers, and you get a steady revenue stream. It’s a win-win!
Before we start, let’s first find out more about proximity marketing and the advantages it provides. By showing you’re knowledgeable about the subject, you’ll have a much easier time selling them on the idea and becoming a successful proximity marketing software reseller.
As the name suggests, proximity marketing relies on the physical location of potential customers to deliver engaging marketing campaigns. It is a form of location marketing that, instead of leveraging GPS and geofence, relies on shorter-range “beacons” to reach out to customers based on their accurate position. The main goal is to prompt them to make an immediate purchase.
This is extremely beneficial to local businesses, retail stores, travel & tourism, and many other industries. Say a potential customer is just passing by a mall. Even if they don’t intend to go in and check out each store to suss out all the available deals, the stores can still share their exciting promotions by targeting the bypassers’ phones.
The same concept applies if you’re renting out a flat on Airbnb. A traveler looking for a place to stay simply needs to enter the range of the beacon, and they’ll receive a notification on their phone with a gorgeous image of your place and all the necessary information.
Naturally, this doesn’t happen automatically. A few prerequisites have to be met before a business can start deploying a proximity marketing campaign.
A business must deploy a beacon which emits the signal in the selected range
The customer must be using a Bluetooth-enabled phone or other mobile devices at a location within range
They must also have a mobile app that enables push notifications. This can either be a brand app, or one of the free apps available on Google Play and App Store, such as NearBee
Before setting up a beacon, there are a number of factors a business must consider, such as:
The beacon’s transmission range
Its battery life (USB beacons are a great option since they don’t run out of power)
Whether the beacon should be placed indoors or outside
Which beacon platform to select to get the desired customization options
What protocols the beacon supports
The budget they have for proximity marketing
Whether the beacon is portable
As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all beacon.
If you intend to become a proximity marketing reseller, you need to learn everything you can about the different types, as well as their advantages and drawbacks. That way, you’ll be able to provide your clients with the perfect solution, while also building your credibility.
Once the beacon is in place, the communication is pretty straight-forward. The beacon will then continuously emit its ID number, all the while scanning for Bluetooth-enabled devices. As soon as the beacon’s ID matches the one in the user’s mobile app, it will signal to the user that a nearby beacon wants to communicate with their device.
Proximity marketing isn’t invasive. Quite the contrary — the potential customers must give the beacon their permission before it can send out any promotional material. Therefore, there is no risk of angering consumers by shoving products down their throat.
Instead, since proximity marketing is permission-based, it guarantees that everyone seeing the message is already interested in the brand’s offers.
After receiving permission, the beacon will send out the promotional material. The user will see a push notification on their screen, which will open the proximity-aware app once they click it. The marketing message will then be displayed within the app.
Most beacons allow the brands to configure these messages however they see fit. They can be a simple image containing a discount coupon or a sale promotion, audio inviting them to visit the store, or even a video that showcases some of the most popular products.
What we’ve talked about so far is proximity marketing that relies on beacons and Wi-Fi technology. However, there are various other types of proximity marketing that do not require the target audience to have a specific app installed.
Some of the most popular proximity marketing technologies include:
We’re pretty much used to constantly being connected to the Internet, wherever we go. Hence, customers accept easy access to the web in retail stores, coffee shops, and shopping malls. So, Wi-Fi is no longer an incentive to attract new customers — it’s a necessity.
That doesn’t mean businesses can’t benefit from providing free Internet access. In fact, there are multiple ways to grow a business using Wi-Fi marketing. Here are a few examples:
Request a prospect’s contact information in exchange for Wi-Fi access
Prompt them to interact with their social media channels
Protect their Wi-Fi with a password they’ll share with the customers once they enter the store
QR or “quick response” codes are an inventive way to promote the products by intertwining offline and online marketing channels. They are codes people can scan with their smartphones to “reveal” the content behind them.
Here’s what a QR code looks like:
The application of QR codes is limited only by the brand’s creativity. For instance, a business could place them on the store’s window or on their products (like a can of soda) to prompt future purchases. As a local business, you could even create enticing posters that feature QR codes and have them posted all around the neighborhood.
QR Code Poster Example
Image courtesy: QR Code Generator
The main ideas behind QR codes are stimulating sales and generating leads. After someone scans your code, what they should see on their screen is a landing page with a special offer. This can be anything from a 20% discount on a pair of sneakers to a code for a free coffee.
It should always be an enticing offer that requires them to subscribe to your mailing list before they can access it. By capturing their prospects’ email addresses, businesses ensure they have a way to send these prospects future promotional material.
Many extremely successful brands have leveraged this proximity marketing method to boost their sales — Kelvin Clein, L’Oreal, Pepsi, and countless others.
NFC functions similarly to QR codes, with one major difference. Whereas QR codes are typically tied to a landing page, NFC stickers aren’t as limited. They have a URL embedded within, which is directly connected to the cloud and can deploy more complex campaigns.
NFC allows the device to interact with a physical object and immediately communicates the offer linked to it, without the need to set up a connection. All you have to do is tap the NFC sticker or tag with your phone, and you’ll see the campaign on the screen.
Poster with an NFC sticker
Image courtesy: Marketing Land
This technology has been used in banking for quite some time now, but thanks to ingenious marketers, it now has multiple uses in marketing.
RFID is akin to barcode scanners, but it provides a bigger range since it only requires for the product and the scanner to be in a line of sight. An RFID system typically includes a reader and an RFID tag.
The reader is always on, continuously scanning for RFID tags. Whenever it picks up one, it sends a feedback signal. They are most commonly used in retail stores as an additional security measure.
Some stores have found a rather ingenious way of leveraging this technology. They have RFID readers set up in fitting rooms that pick up on the signals from the products customers want to try on.
This allows them to recommend similar products, giving the customers more options to choose from.
Geofencing is pretty self-explanatory. It aims to create a virtual boundary around a geographic location using GPS coordinates. Whenever someone’s within the pre-selected range, brands can send marketing messages to their smartphone.
Compared to beacons, Geofencing encompasses a larger area and can provide information regarding someone’s purchase history with the brand, to deliver a fully customized experience.
BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy beacons are a type of beacon that value battery life over high-speed data transmission. They have a shorter range than Wi-Fi, for instance, but are a better option if you want to share your marketing message only to people in the close proximity of your store.
One proximity marketing technology isn’t strictly better (or worse) than any other. Which one your client will opt for depends on the goal they wish to achieve, the campaign they're planning to launch, and the audience they’re trying to reach.
For quick reference, here’s a comparison table, so you can always recommend the right one:
Proximity marketing type
How it works
Who it’s for
Offers free Internet access in exchange for contact information
Businesses where customers spend a lot of time on the premises, such as coffee shops, restaurants, or hotels
Displays a marketing message once the prospect scans the QR code
Companies that want to use their products to stimulate future purchases
“Reveals” the campaign once the prospects tap it with their smartphone
All manner of businesses that want to leverage interactive business cards and posters
Emits a radio frequency that reads the RFID tag and sends a feedback signal
Retailers who want to improve security measures; apparel stores that want to recommend complementary products
Uses GPS coordinates to create a virtual “fence” and communicate with devices that enter it
Shopping malls; larger stores that want to target a particular geographic area
Continuously emits an ID and scans for proximity-aware apps on devices within range
Local businesses that want to attract the attention of potential customers in close proximity to their store
So far, we’ve only covered the basics — what proximity marketing is and which different techniques a business can employ to make it work. This is crucial if you’re looking to become a proximity marketing reseller, as you’ll need to know everything there is about the subject.
This will enable you to provide potential clients with a solution that will best suit their business needs.
But that’s only the first step. You must also learn:
What to focus on
How to approach the client
How to properly present the solutions you’re offering
How to manage the client’s expectations.
Converting prospects into clients isn’t as easy as you might think. You must understand that your goal is to persuade them to invest in a new marketing channel. The only way to do so is by relying on facts while explaining what proximity marketing can do for their business.
You’ll need to do your homework and research the subject thoroughly before approaching a potential client. If they are new to this marketing channel, explain what proximity marketing is and focus on the benefits they’ll receive from it.
They’ll also want to know how effective proximity marketing is. Since they’ll be looking at it as a potential investment, they’ll mostly be interested in the cost of implementing it and the expected return on their investment.
To win them over, you can share interesting data, such as the fact that proximity marketing solutions commonly have a 20% conversion rate.
What will also help sell them on the idea are examples of other companies that have successfully leveraged proximity marketing. You can share a story of how McDonald’s deployed 15 beacons around its cafés to offer customers a free drink with each coffee purchase. They had a conversion rate of 20%, increasing their revenue, while simultaneously promoting drinks from the new line.
Before your clients can start utilizing proximity marketing, they’ll need to create and set up a marketing campaign for it. Although we’re not suggesting creating an entire campaign for them, we firmly believe you can and should share your ideas.
In order to do so, you must first understand your client’s business. What are the challenges they’re facing, who is it they want to target with the campaign, and what would be an irresistible offer for their consumers?
This will help you determine the best approach — whether it’s beacons, posters with QR codes, or NFC tags.
In case they opt for beacons, there’s one more thing to keep in mind. There are a few types, with varying ranges:
Indoor & outdoor beacon
Long-range outdoor beacon
Don’t recommend the most expensive one blindly, in hopes of earning the most profit. It might backfire, and the client might turn down the offer. Instead, base your recommendation on the type of business your client is running and the beacon’s ideal deployment location.
Although proximity marketing has proven to be successful time and again, there are a few questions you must ask yourself before signing up to become a reseller:
Do you know everything there is to know about the technology?
Do you have prospects, and if not, where are you going to find them?
Why choose proximity marketing specifically?
We’ve already mentioned the importance of familiarizing yourself with the technology proximity marketing leverages, but we can’t stress it enough. In order to convince a potential client that they absolutely need to include proximity marketing in their overall marketing strategy, you must be an expert on the matter.
Another thing to consider is that you can’t simply send out cold emails to promote beacons. Well, technically — you can, but you won’t have much success. Instead, you should promote proximity marketing to businesses you know are looking for ways to increase sales.
With that in mind, we would recommend white label proximity marketing to marketers and affiliates that focus on business growth and preferably have large mailing lists.
If you don’t fall into that category, don’t fret. There are many alternatives that don’t require such extensive knowledge or that big of a commitment and are much easier to set up.
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