Proximity marketing technologies: the tool small businesses need?

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?


iBeacon Technology Revolutionizes A New Vision for the Retail Industry
Image source: Moon TechnoLabs


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?

3 thoughts on “Proximity marketing technologies: the tool small businesses need?”

  1. Such an interesting reading! I am sure that proximity marketing is an incredible tool for brick-and-mortar to encourage consumer traffic in-store! I believe that small businesses could definitely benefit from it, as it can help them to attract customers by interacting directly with them. Sending them greetings or incentives sounds like a fantastic way to merge digital and physical retail environments. I can’t wait to try iBeacon technologies in local stores!
    However, I must admit that as a consumer, I would be a little bit reluctant to use these emerging technologies, as I don’t feel very safe with all the data collected on my location or my habits. Privacy will be a major concern for marketers implementing proximity and location-based marketing technologies!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment thedigitaland 🙂

      Yes, you pointed out an important variable: the degree of willingness of customers to be part of these marketing strategies. If not executed properly, prospective buyers might even create negative associations for a particular business if they receive unsolicited marketing content, which is definitely not what we want as marketers.



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