By Stewart Bernard

The TOP GUN of Digital Marketing

Have you ever heard of Proximity Marketing?

How about Geotargeting?  How about Geofencing?   How about IBeacon?

These are all technology advancements in mobile marketing that attempt to contact targeted customers via location.

Proximity Marketing is simply marketing based on proximity.  As we become more intelligent and market savvy, marketers are finally realizing that cold calling, hard selling and outbound marketing does not work anymore.

They are realizing that marketing based on relationships, habits and proximity is more relevant.

Geo targeting is the method of determining the geolocation of a website or mobile visitor and delivering different content to that visitor based on his or her location, such as country, region/state, city, metro code/zip code, organization, IP address, ISP or other criteria.

Geofencing is marketing by notifying a potential customer within a certain distance or proximity with a push notification like a text message or a mobile coupon.  When the location-aware device of a location-based service (LBS) user enters or exits a geo-fence, the device receives a generated notification. This notification might contain information about the location of the device. The geofence notice might be sent to a mobile telephone or an email account.  In order to geofence, the customer must give the vendor permission to geofence via a mobile application or an online agreement.  This is highly targeted marketing because you have the interest, desire, location and shopping habit of the customer already figured out.

  1. The customer would not be shopping in your area if they were not interested in your product/services.
  2.  The customer would not give you permission to geofence them if they were not interested in your product/services.
  3.  The customer has a desire for your product/services or they would not be shopping at your location.

A geofence can be set up with a wide range(miles if you desire).  Therefore if a customer is on his way to your place of business, you can push a discount coupon to him when he is 1 mile away from your location, reinforcing his decision to visit your place of business and not go elsewhere.

iBeacon is the Apple Trademark for an indoor positioning system that  that can notify nearby iOS devices and some Android devices of their presence.  The technology enables an iOS device or other hardware to send push notifications to iOS devices in close proximity(normally 30 feet).  The significance of this technology is that when customers walk in the store, Apple can push coupons, specials, advertisements and messages to IOS devices while they are in the store.

Unlike geofencing, Ibeacon is based on bluetooth technology and has a limited range(normally 30 feet)

This technology and marketing tactic is absolutely brilliant for a variety of reasons:


1. You will not walk into an Apple store if you do not have some interest in Apple products/services.

This makes you a highly targeted customer.

2. When you install IOS 7 or above on your mobile device, you sign an agreement allowing Apple to send you push notifications giving them automatic permission to send you advertisements.

3. When you entered the store, you were already in the buying/shopping mood and all it may take is a discount coupon or push notification to get you over the hill in that final phase of purchasing.

The wireless sensor beacon can pinpoint a customer’s location in a store.  IBeacons can send notifications of items nearby that are on sale or items customers may be looking for, and it can enable payments at the point of sale (POS – where customers don’t need to remove their wallets or cards to make payments, making the customer experience secure, simple, convenient and straightforward) thereby further increasing the chances of closing the sale.

As customers move to different sections of the store, different beacons trigger push notifications about the products in that particular area only, thereby giving the customer discounts on the items he is interested in, not necessarily on everything in the store.

The beacons come in different formats, including small coin cell powered devices, USB sticks and software versions.

The future of proximity marketing is bright, exciting and a welcome improvement over old, stale outbound marketing techniques.

It may eliminate paper coupons.

It encourages targeted shopping and makes the customer experience more enjoyable.

Stewart Bernard Productions, your local Orlando based Digital Marketing Company is a strong proponent of Proximity and Inbound Marketing

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