Proximity marketing, are you really an upcoming trend?


I first heard that ‘proximity marketing is the future’ about a year back in my Consumer Behaviour class. From what I understood at that time, an example of proximity marketing would be a coupon in the form of a text or message sent directly to your cell phone/smartphone when you pass by a certain store. And my first thought was, “Wow, that would be so effective!” But my second thought was, “That is so invasive! Who would want pop-up ads on their phone?!”

And after doing a bit of research, I have come to find out that we have basically hit that point…sort of. There are two kinds of proximity marketing: mobile push marketing and mobile pull marketing.

We all are subscribers of the mobile pull marketing strategy already. How many times have you Googled something while on your phone? Or voluntarily ‘Checked in’ to a restaurant, and broadcast it on Facebook? Every time someone interacts with advertisements on their mobile device, that’s proximity marketing.

The example I brought up of a pop-up ad texted to your phone is an example of a mobile push marketing scheme, and it’s not too common in Canada right now. But after further research, I saw that’s not as invasive as a pop-up because consumers can ‘opt-in’ for these ads by simply enabling Bluetooth on their mobile devices. An ad pops up when you’re in a convenience store asking, “Would you like to receive a promotion from Coca Cola?” for example and gives consumers the choice to partake in the promotion or not. I can see how that would work. According to a lot of press releases in 2011, Red Bull rolled out Canada’ biggest proximity marketing campaign in convenience stores across the Country.

The links I’ve listed below and the press releases I’ve read all insist that proximity marketing is an upcoming trend in 2012, and was also an upcoming trend in 2011. But what I’m wondering is, why haven’t I seen its progression yet? We’re 1/6 of the way through 2012 already, and I have yet to see anything but hype about proximity marketing. Sure, Red Bull and Coca Cola started proximity marketing campaigns in 2011, but I haven’t been able to find anything about their progress since.

So here’s my question: Is proximity marketing a trend, or a dud?

My sources of inspiration



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