If you work in management in the Retail sector, chances are you already now about the rising power of local-based mobile marketing. Spear-headed by the increasingly celebrated 'Beacon'. Yet with all the media attention and industry news being awarded to these tiny little, low-energy, low cost enablers, I remain increasingly surprised about how few live examples there are out there in the real world.
I believe much of the problem lies, as it so often does with break through technology, in the way vendors of Beacon based services and products are selling them to prospective customers. Unintentionally mystifying and complicating the approach by pursuing a technology first, strategy second approach. This does little justice to the inspiring and powerful potential of Beacons - and the part they play in local-based marketing strategy - to drive up performance across all the major Retail and Customer Experience KPI's.
So as part of N57 Interactive's ongoing commitment to helping Retailers integrate interactive customer experience based products in the most optimal way possible, here's a list of 5 inspiringly simple reasons why we believe every Retail operation should give local-based marketing, and Beacons, a serious seat at their next planning meeting.
1. They will reconnect with your customers' journey: For local-based marketing, the starting point has to be a deep-dive into the physical journey your customers will make pre, during and post store visit. Without an intimate understanding of how they move, when they move, what their needs are at these key points, other media content they might be faced with and any other obstacles between them visiting, staying and spending in your store, setting up an effective Beacon (or content trigger) network is largely impossible.
2. They give you a powerful opportunity to build 'real' loyalty: The human root of loyalty, in all aspects, is simply the confidence and comfort of being understood, and treated as an individual according to that understanding. With content management software and push platforms becoming increasingly sophisticated, filtering customer information by preference, spend, frequency of visit etc. and responding accordingly on a one-to-one basis, will give your loyalty KPI's a significant boost. Allowing you to increase sales, visits, up-sells, cross-sells and encourage peer-to-peer shopping in hyper-relevant, individual ways that demonstrate that essential level of understanding.
3. They'll help you optimise the sales patterns and seasons that shape retail: No one day, week, month or season is the same in retail. With the right understanding of what your customers need and expect across your calendar, and a commitment to leveraging the agility embedded in the relationship between a dynamic content management system and Beacon locations, your push content and targeting can remain extremely versatile and hyper-targeted. Always plugged into what your customers need, always optimising the plethora economic, social, cultural an religious factors that shape the retail calendar.
4. They will teach about your business and how to make it better: The analytics that you can pull from your local-based marketing program will help you improve every aspect of you in-store experience. From simple information such as foot-traffic peaks and troughs, and promotional redemption rates across portfolios, to customer movement patterns to assist with store, aisle and shelf layout. In many ways setting up the analytic capability of your program is as important as the outreach push content that your customers will receive. Used in the right way, it all serves to improve the experience for your customers.
5. Once planned and set-up, they're perfect, easy to manage employees: From the outside looking in, local-based marketing and all it's components can look daunting and complicated. But once the cerebral and scientific work has been done: understanding the customer journey and their needs, where to place the beacons, what type and frequency of content to push, how that content needs to change according to your stores retail calendar, and what analytics you want to pull for the system; the rest is, well easy. Most beacons have a battery life of over 2 years, and require very little maintenance. All that remains to be done is to make sure your marketing team or agency partners are optimising the dynamic and hyper-relevant capabilities of the content management system, to provide a constantly improving, and yielding customer experience asset.
Obviously there's quite a bit more to talk about and plan before implementing a Local-Based marketing program, but I hope for now, these 5 pointers have demystified the subject enough, and inspired you take them into more serious and practical consideration for your store, shopping centre or mall.
Please contact us here if you'd like to talk to us in more detail about how a Local-Based Marketing solution could help your retail operation.
N57 Interactive helps businesses create compelling interactive experiences that deliver compelling customer experience. We take our clients to that powerful space where technology, creativity and business come together. To plan, discover and create powerful, commercially applicable customer experience solutions.