Smartphones are no longer used for just a “check in” at your favorite sushi bar on Facebook or for a quick joke with an emoji to your best pals in a group chat. Today, two in every three millennial shoppers use their phone to shop. What’s more, is that 46% of these young adult shoppers searched for a product on their phone before later purchasing that product in-store. Like it or not, mobile is now a way of life.
The mobile shift has redefined shopping in unprecedented ways, making the path-to-purchase far from a linear path. While today’s shopper has taken more control in how, when and where they shop, there are still ways companies can tailor marketing campaigns around shoppers to make their shopping experience a more personalized, memorable one.
One marketing tactic that has gained significant momentum over the past couple of years is proximity marketing. Whereas beacons and geo-location have provided the foundation for making proximity marketing campaigns work, additional, yet often overlooked factors have made certain proximity marketing campaigns great. Forward-thinking digital marketers are using the next generation of data to tap into their shopper’s preferences and align them with when and how they are engaged with a particular product offering.. Additional factors such as weather, time of day, season, and traffic patterns to name a few, can now be combined with shopper data to further enhance the relevance and personalization of the proximity marketing campaign to the consumer. Today, marketers are able to capture shoppers right on their mobile devices at the right time and place, resulting in better engagement, higher sales and continued loyalty.
So, what are the steps that successful marketers are now taking to deliver impactful proximity marketing campaigns? Below, we highlight the five must-have steps to a successful proximity marketing campaign that will motivate engagement, sales and loyalty. Each step is further explained with examples and case studies in our latest complimentary iPaper, available for download here.
Step 1: Do the Pre-Campaign Work
Putting together a successful proximity marketing campaign requires careful planning and execution. From initial audience targeting to understanding where your products are available, the success or failure of a campaign is predicated by many factors, which often begin before the campaign even launches.
One factor is product availability. Many retailers and brands are not necessarily aware of where their products are sitting on the shelves at the onset of a campaign. On-demand product availability intelligence helps determine where products are in-stock and out-of-stock before a campaign launches. This type of intelligence not only helps brands and retailers save valuable marketing dollars by only serving ads in relation to those stores have the promoted product is available, but also helps to secure a better relationship with the customer for future purchases.
Step 2: Identify the Most Relevant Data Points Across the Most Relevant Touch Points
Studies show that more than 54% of consumers would like to receive suggestions of complementary items for a product they’re currently considering to buy in a store. Unfortunately, some marketers have been so overwhelmed with the mounds of data out there, that delivering the most relevant, personalized messages to consumers at the most relevant times has been the ultimate challenge. Fortunately, the rise in mobile usage has afforded marketers a way to ingest more granular, real-time data to power opportunities to capture shoppers in the right time and place.
A few years ago, ShopAdvisor powered a proximity marketing campaign with ELLE magazine and retail partners Barnes & Noble, Vince Camuto, Guess, and Levi’s to deliver contextually relevant offers to mobile shopper’s around the retailers to drive them in store to shop. You can check out more about the “ShopNow!” campaign and the results in our iPaper.
Step 3: Define the Right Combination of Marketing Channels for Each Shopper Interaction
A shopper’s path-to-purchase is nowhere near like it used to be. For this reason, it’s imperative for marketers to follow a shopper’s footprints both online and offline today. Take for example buying a television. Research shows that 80% of shoppers start with online research and then buy in store when making a major purchase, such as a television. Let’s say for instance a shopper swung into a Best Buy on their way home from work just to browse the selection, yet left the store without making a purchase. Why did they leave? How would you ever know what prompted that shopper to swing into the store? Were they not offered a promotion at the right time? How would you get that shopper to come back into to the store to make the purchase?
Today, effective marketing in an omnichannel landscape means crafting mobile campaigns that mirror a consumer’s digital, social and in-store search and browsing patterns. More than likely, the television shopper that stopped into Best Buy on his or her way home from work was initially influenced on their mobile phone, but could have been at the very starting point of their shopping journey on their desktop. In the end, and most importantly, how would you re-engage them or continue their major purchase journey once they left the store?
Step 4: Automate Campaign Adjustments By Tapping Into Real-Time Product, Context and Shopper Data
Contextualized data, which is enabled through analytics, machine learning and AI, has enabled retailers to track and analyze where and when sales occur in real-time, and if certain stores are out of a product. These particular types of data sets are crucial during any proximity marketing campaign, and could very well be the make or break of a sale and the success, or failure of a campaign.
Days and times that purchases are occurring the most and the least, external signals like weather conditions, and even social media events can aid retail and brand marketers in analyzing which messages are resonating the best with their consumers and producing the highest conversion rates while the campaign is in flight. Apps on smartphones, for example, helps data providers gather valuable, real-time insights that marketers could use to optimize or adjust their proximity marketing campaigns, so they can control the outcome of the campaign and ideally, have the best ROI in the end.
Step 5: Analyze the Results
Any data-driven marketer should want to know if there was a significant lift in impressions, foot traffic and, most importantly, sales after the completion of a proximity marketing campaign. So, how do they determine this? While some marketers are accustomed to standard measurements such as click-through rates, coupon redemption, app downloads and basic impression rates, many have turned to more advanced, granular analytics to determine which campaigns soared and which ones sank.
Many retailers and brands, particularly CPG brands, are tapping into sales lift analysis reports to determine the percentage increase or decrease of shopper conversion rates of test and control groups to determine which group performed better during the campaign. So, did control group A, which did not receive the promotion, increase sales more than test group B, which did receive the promotions? This type of information can be incredibly valuable to not only determine why consumers reacted to the campaign, but also to align future campaigns to gain better results. You can see an example of one CPG brand ShopAdvisor worked with on a sales lift in our iPaper.
In this mobile-first era where 77% of shoppers are using mobile devices while shopping in-store, it is crucial that marketers strive to personalize the mobile shopping experience by aligning the proper intelligence to proximity marketing campaigns. Today’s savvy shoppers are more connected than ever before and are relying on their favorite brands and retailers to cater to them by delivering relevant, personalized offers that touch them at multiple points on their shopping journey. By incorporating additional intelligence into proximity marketing campaigns, consumers can be rewarded with a better shopping experience and businesses can gain long-term engagement and increased sales.