A big part of delivering value to customers relies on being successful with the timing variable: making your brand present at the precise moment when it may seem the most attractive or useful for your clients. iBeacon and other location-based SMS marketing services provide an interesting alternative to reach customers that could be soon reshaping the way small businesses approach prospective clients.
Introduced in 2013, proximity or location-based marketing technologies propose approaching consumers within a pre-established region called geo-fenced area by sending them a text message in regards to a product, promotion, or just a welcoming message. iBeacon took it to the next level, by establishing smaller geo-fenced areas within a store, which allows customers to receive highly specific information in regards to particular products.
Big corporations like McDonalds, Target, Walgreens, or Macy’s have long implemented these technologies. However, it is the potential for small, local businesses that sounds appealing to me, as I believe industries like hospitality, tourism, and other daily services could easily benefit from delivering some stimuli that may trigger a consumer’s purchase. As Brian Cooley puts it, these technologies could motivate consumers in the proximity to enter a store, being attracted by products or promotions communicated through text messages.
Imagine how convincing this technology could be for a mother that is heading home after a long day of work thinking about what to cook for dinner, and as she passes in front of a restaurant, she gets a message with a mouth-watering picture of a pizza, offering her a 20% discount off her purchase; or visualize tourists, whom are constantly using the phone to check Google Maps or to look for points of interest, receiving inviting messages motivating them to try out traditional food or encourage them to visit a local landmark.
According to Nielsen’s studies, at least 1 on every 3 customers will use a smartphone for purchasing purposes, either to use a store locator, check prices, keep a shopping list, or even pull up mobile coupons. Then, why not provide them tailored, location-based information that might be beneficial for them?
This is a technology that has not been exploited yet for small businesses. Would you reckon that hospitality and other service-based businesses could benefit from it?